Win It or Wing It? Buying a Used Car From a Dealer

A client and a salesman having a discussion Cars today can run for hundreds or even thousands of miles with reasonable care. As technology advances, they’re better or at par with most of their predecessor models. With that in mind, you can find real value in buying a used car.

Before heading over to used car dealers in Auckland, Auckland Motors reminds that you should first know the basics of inspecting a secondhand car. Keeping these tips in mind can help you reduce the chances of spending good money on something you won’t be able to maximise.

Inspect Under Good Light

Some blemishes are difficult to see if there isn’t enough light. Visit the dealer on a sunny day. You can also bring a flashlight to check the nooks and crannies of the car.

Bring a Magnet

It’s an old trick, but it still works. A refrigerator magnet is good enough. If there are fillers hidden under the paint, the magnet won’t stick. Repairs like this may mean that the car had been in an accident or rust has eaten through metal. Knocking on the body also tells you whether it’s still the original metal, as sound changes when you knock on a place that’s been filled in. Ask for the salesman’s permission before doing the magnet trick.

Watch out for Rust in the Right Places

Rust on the body panels is bad, but it’s even worse if the rusted parts affect safety and performance. For example, if rust has eaten through the suspension mounting points, driving the vehicle may put you at risk. Shine your flashlight on these parts.

Take a Mechanic Friend With You

A professional can help you decide on which car to buy, as their trained eyes can detect problems immediately when you don’t see any. Most dealers allow — even encourage — this practice. If the dealer refuses, it’s probably a sign to walk away.

Get a Fairly New Vehicle

Unless you’re on the hunt for a specific type of car that’s been out of production for a long time, get one that’s two years old at the most. While newer cars are tougher than older generations, you still want one that’s reasonably fresh. The newer the car, the fewer the possible problems.

Buying a used car is a practical decision, but always make sure to do a proper inspection before shaking on it with the dealer.