If you’re using a dealership, then buying a used car is a pretty similar process to buying a new car. However, if you’re buying your car from a private seller, then you need to keep your wits about you. Using a private seller can often work out much cheaper than going to a dealership, since there isn’t a dealer acting as the middleman and taking a portion of the money.
With that being said, not using a dealer also has its disadvantages. You need to exercise caution before buying a car from a private seller, since the vehicle likely hasn’t gone through all the checks required before being sold at a dealership.
You need to be sure that the car is in a good working condition before handing your money over, so it’s best to stay level-headed until you’re confident that everything is all as it seems. To help put your mind at ease, here is a checklist you should follow when buying a used car:
If you’re interested in buying a car, the first thing you should ask the seller for is all the official documents, as this is usually an indicator of whether the car has been stolen or not. Take note of the person’s name on the form- if it’s not the seller’s, then who are they selling it for?
To confirm the accuracy of the documents, you should also check for watermarks, and keep your eyes peeled for any spelling mistakes. If a car has been stolen, then it’s likely that the form will have been created by the seller, so be on the lookout for anything that seems unprofessional or illegitimate.
Finally, you want to make sure that the car has a current, valid safety check that was done at a garage, or you could end up spending a lot of money on repairs that the previous owner didn’t warn you about.
The less miles a used car has done, the better- so be prepared to encounter sellers who try and lie about the milage in order to get a better deal. You can check the car’s instruments for signs of tampering and ask to see recorded milage on official documents.
The best way to see if your car is in a good working condition is to take it for a test drive. While out on the road, check that your brakes- including the handbrake- are working effectively. Test out all the lights, and make sure that there’s no warning lights lit up, since that could indicate a problem.
You should also be aware of the car’s safety features. Do all the seatbelts work as they should do? Are the tyers in good condition and the right fit for the car?
Weigh Up Your Options
If you’ve considered the risks and you don’t feel comfortable buying a car from a private seller, then why not consider a dealer? Dealerships like Rusty Wallace Chevrolet only sell pre-owned vehicles that have been inspected and warrantied, so you don’t have to worry about whether you’re being conned. Buying from a dealership is often a much smoother process than buying privately, and by doing so, you’re legally protected.