Things to Consider When Buying a Second-hand Car

There are a lot of benefits to buying a car second-hand instead of a brand new car, mostly to do with lower cost. In the long run, however, you could end up paying more for your second-hand car if you accidentally buy a lemon, so it is very important to choose carefully what car you buy. If you will be driving a lot in a big city such as Sydney or Melbourne, you especially need a reliable car in good working condition, so here are a few pointers for when you are searching for your next vehicle.

Have a Mechanic Check it Out

A little peace of mind can go a long way. If you are unsure about your own ability to do a car service, Sydney and Melbourne have plenty of mechanics that can have a look at the car for you. Schedule a time with the car’s owner to take it in to a mechanic of your choice. They will run a few basic tests to make sure the car is generally in good repair, and can tell you whether or not the car will pass all of the inspections necessary for the car’s registration.

Ask for a Full History

The history of the car will tell you a lot about it’s current condition. The most important thing to find out is whether it has been in any accidents. Next you want to make sure certain parts have been replaced when they should have been, for example the timing belt needs to be replaced after a certain amount of kilometres or you will run the risk of damaging the entire engine. The last thing to check for is the last time it had a car service. Melbourne and Sydney driving can be very unforgiving and tough on cars, so you don’t want to buy one that hasn’t been regularly maintained.

Carefully Inspect the Outside of the Car

Check for small blemishes on the surface of the car such as scratches, rust bubbles and any panels that don’t line up (which could indicate a body repair job). Check the tires to make sure there still some tread, otherwise you could end up paying hundreds of dollars to replace them later. Look under the hood as well, even if you don’t know what you are looking at you want to see that the motor is generally clean-looking which indicates the car has been cared for. Anything you find at this stage could be used to try and haggle down the price, so make sure you make note of everything you see.

Take it for a Test Drive

Even if you don’t know much about car motors, you can still listen for things that don’t seem right quite right. When the car is started, you want to listen for any loud noises and watch for blue smoke coming from the exhaust, which indicates that the car burns oil. Once you are in the car, if it is an automatic transmission, listen for how quickly the engine noise changes as you shift from ‘park’ to ‘drive’. If there is a long pause before the gear kicks in, it could indicate a problem with the transmission. When you are driving the car, pay attention to how well it handles, how well it brakes, listen for any odd noises coming from the engine and notice how smoothly the gears change over. You don’t need to know much about cars to know that something may not be quite right. If in doubt, refer back to the first point and take it to a mechanic!

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