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Expert advice from Faan Van der Walt, the CEO of WeBuyCars.
Looking for a quality vehicle without the higher price? Buying a used car ticks both boxes, but many consumers question if they will be taken for a ride or if this route makes sense. Increasingly, people are questioning the economic wisdom of buying a brand-new car. Consumers are feeling the financial pinch, depreciation is a reality, and the price of new vehicles is increasing above inflation
While buying your next vehicle second-hand makes economic sense, buyers need to make smart choices. To choose the right vehicle and get the car of your dreams, it is important to keep certain factors in mind.
Needs and wants
It is critical to know what you want and need in a vehicle before taking the next step. How will you be using the vehicle? If you never venture further than the shopping mall, a fully-equipped 4x4 is probably vehicle overkill. What features or qualities do you need from your vehicle?
However, if you need to drive the vehicle often and know you will be clocking up many hundreds of kilometres on the odometer, it is wiser to rather look for a vehicle with lower mileage.
Do your homework - assumption is not your friend
Some people are full of promises but if something isn’t on paper, it doesn’t mean anything.
Never assume a vehicle has features such as Bluetooth or good safety ratings, rather get your facts straight beforehand and ensure that all options or extras are there.
The vehicle industry is awash with acronyms but you must familiarise yourself with terms such as ABS (anti-lock braking system), ESP (electronic stability programme), EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) and ensure the vehicle has a functioning airbag.
Stay clear from pushy salesmen
Avoid being pushed into buying a vehicle by a persuasive salesman. Rather lose a potential great deal than being forced into a deal that you will ultimately regret.
Have the vehicle checked out
Don’t rely on the advice of the salesman only – never forget his primary goal is to make a sale.
Read the Ts & Cs carefully
Take your time reading the terms and conditions and ensure you understand everything before signing anything. If you are concerned with a phrase mentioned in the terms and conditions, raise your concern and request for it to be excluded or adapted until you feel comfortable. Remember, it’s your hard-earned money.
Take a proper test drive
Going for a test drive can help you determine the condition of the car and whether it’s a good fit for you. But going around the block is not enough. When test driving the vehicle, rather drive a little farther and get a good feel for the vehicle on suburban roads and on the highway. If you are looking to buy a family car, take the family along for the test drive and make sure there is enough space for kids, dogs and all the paraphernalia that comes with travelling with a family.
Following these tips may help you choose a used car that meets your needs and fits your budget. Consumers are lucky to have choice on their side when it comes to used car options but keep in mind that any vehicle purchase is a significant financial outlay and needs to be taken extremely seriously. You can easily get the car of your dreams by keeping certain key factors of buying a vehicle second-hand in mind – just make sure you have covered all your bases and have had all your questions answered. Happy driving!