This pandemic has forced people to stay at home. Companies have been sending their employees home with laptops, groceries are done via mobile apps, and instead of going out, you can order your food from your favorite restaurant and have it delivered straight to your door. While most people were busy renovating their kitchen, bedroom, office area, or the house itself, one thing that was neglected were our cars.
For middle-class families with at least five members, most households have a minimum of two cars, one for everyday use and another that can be considered a Sunday car or an alternate car for social events. These cars have been with us during our daily trips to work or road trip vacations with friends and families. During this pandemic, however, our cars have been stuck in our garages.
Due to the robust vaccine rollouts, some companies ask employees to physically report to work at least once or twice a week. Those who commute to work daily were all severely affected by the pandemic, and their daily travel routine changed as they were more concerned about the people around them and their safety. People are willing to spend on things they need, which benefit their health and safety, including purchasing new or used cars.
Although the price of brand-new cars has declined over the past few years, people would still rather spend their money on food and other essentials. Those who still needed new modes of transportation have turned to purchase used or secondhand cars. For those who aren’t necessarily well-versed car enthusiasts and are purchasing for safety and convenience reasons, here are some tips to consider in buying a secondhand car:
Consider the budget
How much you are willing to spend on a car is one of the most significant factors you’ll need to consider. Aside from the vehicle itself, all moving parts and paint are always susceptible to wear and tear, and a used car will be full of it. Having the funds necessary for the initial purchase cost and the costs of any other possible repairs and maintenance should always be considered.
This is particularly important when considering replacing tattered parts, which can have hefty price tags, especially for the engine, as all parts are linked to each other. One broken part can affect the other parts leading you to have them all be repaired or replaced.
You can inspect the car in broad daylight for dents and those “key scratches,” as keeping your car shiny is always a good thing. It will make you feel great about your purchase when the car feels almost good as new. Set aside a separate budget for automotive detailing, both for interior or exterior concerns.
Know the sellers’ reason for selling the car
Knowing the car’s history is another essential factor to consider. You must think about who was using the vehicle and how they were using it. This can be a little tricky, but spotting those verbal cues and body language can help you determine if the seller is unusually eager to sell the car or somehow reluctant. These things should help you determine if the vehicle is for sale because it was overworked or because it isn’t getting used enough, which you can check with the car’s millage.
Consider purchasing a vehicle from a relative or friend who should be honest with you in explaining the car’s condition. If you choose to go the traditional route and check out cars at the dealership, remember that dealerships often have add-ons to the car’s price. Going with a knowledgeable friend or to a trusted dealership is essential.
Think like a mechanic
Understanding the basics about cars will help you in making informed decisions when it comes to your purchases. Always remember that the tires are the one part of the car that touches the road. Learning how to inspect the tires effectively will tell us if they were replaced in pairs or not replaced at all. The condition of the tires will come along with the car’s mileage. Car parts start to wear out around 60,000 to 70,000 km; hence, you should expect the tires to be replaced if the mileage is above 70,000 km. If the previous owner was very meticulous with their car, a regular check-up is a must.
Ask for maintenance logs; whether it’s a personal record of when the car was last serviced or a booklet from the manufacturer, this information is a must-have. The oil can be considered the blood of your vehicle. Hence, you also have to know how to have it checked.
This can be done by simply pulling out the dipstick (which is usually the colorful handle) at the hood of your car along with the engine. The correct level will be indicated on it so, pull it, wipe it, stick it back in and pull it up again. This should show you if the oil is at the correct level, oil levels below what’s recommended will damage the engine and cancel the warranty.