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Five things to consider before you buy a used car

by DrPrem Jagyasi

Prices of cars are going up and new cars are depreciating in value faster than expected. In such a scenario, it would probably be wise to go looking for a used car. But one needs to be experienced and have a quick eye when going to buy a used car, so as to avoid ‘buyer’s remorse’ later. Here are 5 things you need to do before buying a used car:


Test Drive the Car

Nothing can tell you more about a car than a test drive. If the dealer allows (which in most cases he will) take the car for a spin. Drive the car on both city roads and highways. The different environments will give you a good feel of the car. On city roads you can gauge how the car shifts, brakes and how well it can be maneuvered. On the highway, you will see how well it accelerates and how smooth or rough the engine is. Make sure to note any unusual noises encountered along the drive.

Inside Out inspection

Do a thorough run down of the car inside-out. The exterior and interior of the car play an important role in the valuation of the vehicle. Check upholstery, electronics, fenders and other such areas for damages and if you find any get a repair estimate. Check for rust as well.


Test for Leaks

Any vehicle which is leaking any kind of fluids is a sign of trouble. While out on a test drive, park the car in a clean spot and let it run for 30-35 seconds. Move the car a little ahead and come out to see if there are spots on the ground where liquids might have leaked. Black spots indicate leak in the oil tubes, pink spots mean transmission fluid leak and green spots mean leak in anti-freeze piping.

Mechanic Inspection

A lot people miss out on an important thing before buying a used car – getting it approved by a mechanic. Often, it would be a wise decision to have an experienced car mechanic to tag along with you before going to purchase a used car. Be it an unusual sound under the hood or leaking transmission fluid, a mechanic can give you the entire picture.

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Written Purchase Agreement

Another thing that people forget to do is get a valid written purchase agreement. Make sure that all the papers of the car are in order and you get an agreement for the purchase signed by both you and the car dealer/owner.

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