According to statistics, about 40 million used cars purchased in the USA in 2018 increased by 11%. In 2018, this figure continues to grow. Such interest of fellow citizens in the secondary market of the automotive industry is due to the fact that a used car is much cheaper than a new one. Accordingly, for a smaller amount, you can buy a more popular model. However, you must understand that this kind of transaction has its pitfalls. In this article, we will describe the steps to buying a used car with hands.
The first or preparatory steps to buying a used car
So, you decide to become the owner of a used car. How to buy a used car? The first thing any buyer should do is decide for what purpose the car will be used:
- hatchback – an ideal car for trips around the city;
- sedan – a car for those who often drive out of town;
- station wagon – an excellent option for transportation of overall things in the trunk.
You must follow several steps to buying a used car. When buying, it is important to consider other characteristics, for example, the type of drive. The most relevant today are cars with front-wheel drive. They are easy to operate and are much cheaper than cars with rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. Rear-wheel drive is suitable for lovers of high speeds. In addition, RWD gives you the ability to control the car with unwanted drifts.
Four-wheel drive is ideal for off-road. Four-wheel drive vehicles are considered the most stable on the road, but they differ in cost in a big way.
It is necessary to pay attention to the type of transmission: “mechanics” or “automatic”. Despite the fact that the manual transmission will cost the car enthusiast a little cheaper, it will give much more advantages, for example, the possibility of fuel economy. However, the automatic transmission is easier to drive and ideal for the fair half of drivers.
Another important point is engine power. The most powerful engine options allow you to load the car to a greater extent.
Step 2. We are looking for options
If you have decided on the characteristics and make of the car you want to buy from hand, it is time to move on to the next steps to buying a used car. You can search for possible options. The 21st century gave us a great opportunity not to get up at 4 in the morning to go to another city in the car market. At the moment, the selection procedure has been simplified thanks to the World Wide Web. There are many websites on which a huge selection of used cars is presented:
- Craigslist.org and others.
In addition, there are a huge number of forums where car enthusiasts discuss the brands of certain cars. You can also read reviews about various brands and models on websites while highlighting all the advantages and disadvantages of the selected model. Have you chosen a decent option from private hands that matches your financial capabilities? Now we move on to the next step – calling the seller and checking the vehicle.
Step 3. Check Auto History
One of the most important thing among the steps to buying a used car is the check history. Checking the auto history of the car from private hands before buying is an extremely important action, by completing which you can filter out unworthy used options. The procedure at this stage is as follows: we call the seller and ask for the car’s VIN and license plate. As a rule, owners of cars, whose history is clear, willingly dictate these data to customers. You received the VIN and the license plate number from the owner, and then we go to the VIN Decoder & Lookup. With this service you will know:
- information about accidents involving a used car;
- real mileage;
- encumbrance facts (traffic police restrictions, pledges, leasing, search);
- number of owners;
- information about working in a taxi;
- information about insurance;
- other data of interest.
A unique service opportunity is checking Japanese cars by license plate number. A car from Japan has no VIN, so most services are not able to provide information on them.
Step 4. We communicate with the seller
A telephone conversation with the seller is the next step when buying a car from private hands. Personal communication is the key factor of the steps to buying a used car. There is a possibility that it will not be the landlord who will communicate with you, but an outbid or small car dealership that buys and sells used cars. It is better to discard the option with an intermediary immediately, since in most cases resellers buy a used vehicle very cheaply, but sell it for the amount that it really is not worth.
A conversation with the owner of a used car is best done in a positive way. So a person will be more disposed to a detailed story about his vehicle. What questions should be asked to the owner:
- What is the mileage by car?
- Have accidents occurred, what are the consequences?
- The number of actual owners?
- Are there any burdens on the car?
- Has the vehicle been serviced by an authorized dealer?
If the owner reports that the car is unbroken, there were no accidents, and a check through the VIN Decoder & Lookup service indicates the opposite, then you can gently hint that you know this information. There are two options for the outcome of the events: either the owner hangs up or will be disposed to lower prices.
Carefully ask the seller about what investments will be required if you decide to buy a used car. Most sellers try to hide the need for a major overhaul of the car, but there is a chance that you can find out the truth about how much finance you need to invest in a used car after purchase.
Step 5. Check the technical condition
If you decide to buy a used car, then you should understand that checking the technical condition is the most important stage. The amount that you then invest in your car depends on it. It is important to prepare for the inspection of the machine.
When inspecting a car with a run from the owner, the following procedure must be observed:
- inspect the vehicle from all sides;
- ask the owner to show those flaws that were discussed during a telephone conversation;
- ask to start the car, track the color of the exhaust;
- pay attention to tire wear.
It is important to check for signs of corrosion. Next, check the thickness of the paintwork. Do not be afraid to ask the seller everything that interests you. Find out why the car was painted, if doors, hood, and other elements were replaced.
Step 6. We agree on the price
This is the most important among the steps to buying a used car. For most people who want to buy a used car, the fundamental factor for making a positive decision is price. Bargaining with the seller before buying is not only possible but also necessary. After all, both the buyer and the owner of the used car are interested in this transaction. The goal of the first is to buy as cheaply as possible, the goal of the second is to sell as expensive as possible.
In order for the bargain to be successful, in a conversation about the price of a used car, focus on the following points:
- the presence of malfunctions that will require repair after purchase;
- external shortcomings in the form of a lack of a manufacturer’s badge, a janitor, etc.
- internal flaws, such as a dirty interior, upholstery defects, etc.
Remember that even the lack of a second set of keys from the owner of a used car can be a reason to reduce the price when buying. In addition, check with the owner of the vehicle whether the winter set of tires, speakers and other pleasant additions are included in the amount.
Step 7. We draw up documents
If the price of the vehicle suits you and you decide to buy a used car, you can safely proceed to the paperwork. However, we recommend that you carefully check the car again through the VIN Decoder & Lookup service before buying. It is better to refuse a transaction if:
- there are encumbrances on the vehicle;
- at least one of the numbers (license plate, VIN or body) of the machine does not match the numbers indicated in the report.
Today, the procedure for processing documents for a car purchased from private hands has become much simpler than it was 10 years ago. Now the seller and the buyer have enough to conclude a contract of sale. Further, the new owner receives all the documents, while entering the following data in the TCP: name, address of the vehicle, date of sale, the document confirming ownership, and signatures of both parties. Next, you have 10 days to register a used car for registration with the traffic police and to issue an insurance policy. Also in the traffic police must be filled in the missing columns in the TCP.
Step 8. What to do after buying a car
Buying a car took place, and you became the happy owner of the coveted vehicle. Now you need to perform several procedures available in any car service:
- change oil;
- drain the brake fluid and fill in a new one;
- change antifreeze;
- balance the wheels;
- change the timing belt;
- replace air filters.
If the purchased car has been in operation for more than 7 years, it will not be superfluous to replace the crankshaft and gearbox oil seals. These procedures will require certain costs from you (from 10 to 25 thousand rubles). However, it should be borne in mind that, having carried out a number of the above activities, you will use the purchased car longer.
>>Also read: 10 things to do after buying a used car
So, you have finished all the steps to buying a used car. In addition, within 10 days, do not forget to register the car with the traffic police, if necessary, compulsory motor third-party liability insurance and undergo inspection.