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Buying A Used Car (Pt. 2)

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Car Hunting

Ok, you did everything right up to this point, now comes the tricky part: getting a good car. This is probably the most difficult and frustrating part of the entire excersise, but you have to get it right. Here are a few helpful tips:
  1. Have the vehicle checked before you buyHave the vehicle examined by someone with experience, that is, someone who has lots of experience working around cars. Your uncle or dad who have owned several cars over the years may have your best interests at heart, but they are far from being considered automotive professionals. It is so easy for the untrained eye to miss some important clue on a car, and it may be something that, had you known about it, might have prevented you from buying the vehicle in the first place. Sometimes it may be better to pay a pro to properly inspect a vehicle on your behalf in order to ensure that you're not being ripped off.

  2. What is the performance history for this car model? Some vehicle models are known to develop generic problems as they age and you should be aware of these potential problems before you buy. The cost and availability of spare parts is another serious issue to consider, as is the availability of competent technicians or facilities who can work on the car. Let's face it, auto maintenance is an eventuality you need to plan for, otherwise your car may spend an inordinate amount of time parked at the mechanic.

  3. Get the facts first. It is amazing how some people actually go and purchase a car and yet know very little about the vehicle. What is the car's history? Yes, it looks great, but did it have a bad accident? Is the engine so clean because the vendor is a nice person or are they hiding a bad oil leak? (It's actually better if you can inspect the car with a dirty engine, you can learn so much more). Be wary of cars for sale with new paint jobs, new engines and transmissions or other excessive remedial work, nobody's that nice.Check out the car's history before you buy You have the right to ask as many questions as you wish, don't be afraid, after all it's your money being spent. The good news is that several of the new car dealers keep good records and they can tell you if the vehicle was previously written off in an accident. Also, find out if all outstanding loans on the vehicle have been paid. Purchasing a car with a previous uncleared debt can be a real nighmare.

  4. Look at the paperwork before you buy. How many people have bought cars and then couldn't license them because of a problem with documentation? Don't wait until you are sealing the deal to examine the paperwork, that's too risky. Before you pay, ask to see the Licensing Authority receipt slip and compare the engine and chassis number on the slip with what is actually on the vehicle. That receipt slip will also tell you the last registered owner's name and the vehicle's tax status. If the last registered owner's name is different from the stated current owner ask to see the paperwork detailing the sale transaction between the parties. If valuations have been done on the vehicle inspect these as well. You can't be too careful and you shouldn't pay any money until you are sure about the legitimacy of all transactions pertaining to the vehicle.
The foregoing by no means constitutes the final word on what you need to do when you are seeking to purchase a used vehicle but should be enough to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls.
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