It is a fact that more people choose a second-hand rather than a new car, and the reasons are varied; firstly, you have an affordable cost, plus the vehicle will not depreciate if you buy a car that is 2-3 years old, and such a car would still be in very good condition. There are, however, risks involved in purchasing a used vehicle, and with that in mind, here are some important aspects to consider before you sign on the dotted line.
- Full Service History – Known simply as FSH, it is essential that you can access the service history of the car you are looking to buy, and if the vehicle has a full service history, you can be sure it has been looked after. The details of the car’s service history would be in the rear section of the owner’s manual, along with the stamp of the garage that carried out the service.
- Test Driving the Car – Looking inside the engine compartment might give you an idea of how the engine sounds, but to really test the car, you need to take it out for a spin. This enables you to test the acceleration, steering, brakes and suspension while also getting a feel of the car. The seller would likely wish to be in the car while you drive it, and if, for any reason, you can’t test drive the car, don’t make any decisions until you have driven the car.
- Always Buy from a Registered Dealership – If you search online for Canberra used car dealers, you will find a list of reputable dealerships where the used cars have a warranty. Unless you really know your stuff, you should avoid buying a car from a private seller, as there is no warranty – the car is ‘sold as seen’.
- Vehicle Depreciation – When a new car is driven off the garage forecourt, it will lose between 15-20% of its value instantly, and if you want a car that will hold its value, look for a vehicle that is 2-3 years old, and if you look after the car, you will be able to sell it for a good price after driving it for a couple of years.
When looking to buy a second-hand car, make sure you buy from a registered dealership, as they will issue you with a fair warranty, and if there are any issues, they would be happy to resolve them.