Buying a used car can be a great way to save money, but purchasing big-ticket items from a third party means there are more risks involved. Moreover, buying a used car from an individual seller can be a hassle in both dealing with the owner, and arranging different aspects such as an auto loan, car insurance and vehicle registration. You can never be completely sure you are making a good choice until you have actually owned the car for a while, but there are a few things you should look at to help you make a more informed decision.
Outstanding car loan
If you are looking for a used car loan to fund the purchase, many banks in the UAE will not provide vehicle financing if the seller has an existing loan outstanding on the car. So that you can arrange financing in a timely manner, ask the seller if they took out a car loan and if it has been paid off. In many cases, it will probably be easiest taking a used car loan from the same bank that the seller used.
Kilometers the car has been driven
With cars, many times the mileage on the vehicle is a better indicator of its condition than the model year. Always make sure to check this; there are many websites where you can get an estimate of the vehicle’s value by inputting the car model and mileage.
Full maintenance records
It is extremely important to get copies of all the maintenance records the seller has. If the information being provided is insufficient, you have a good reason to walk away, or negotiate the price downwards. In addition to being able to check for any history of mechanical failure, you can also check whether the mileage on the vehicle reflects what the seller is telling you.
Past insurance claims
Get in touch with the car insurance company that the seller previously used, and ask if there were any claims on the policy. Past accident history is something many sellers try to cover up.
Take a test drive
Always test drive the used car to make sure it is running smoothly. Don’t just drive it around the parking lot, you need to drive it like you would your own car to make sure you do not discover any kinks later on.
If you are having second thoughts about the vehicle, you can pay a mechanic a small amount to test the car. Take it to a workshop and get a second opinion about its condition.
Feel free to ask the seller as many questions as possible about the condition of the car, many times, you will find out about issues not listed in the ad.