Things to consider when buying a second-hand vehicle

By Monico D. Mekaniko

Second-hand cars are considered the go-to option for those wanting to purchase an automobile with a tight budget. But nowadays, it has also become a practical way to acquire a vehicle that can be as good as when you buy a brand-new unit.

Here are a few tips when buying second-hand cars:

Set your budget. This can help you narrow down your choices to what you can afford, says car expert Bernard Liberio and owner of car exchange company Automobilico.

After all, second-hand cars are supposed to help you lessen the strain on your pockets and not spending more for what is touted a “great deal.”

Know your brand. “The indicator that a particular brand or car model is reliable is if it is saleable in the market both as brand-new and as second-hand,” Liberio says.

This translates to a high resale value which, in turn, suggests relatively good quality for both the car and its maker.

Check out the body. Here’s one trick to know if a car has undergone some serious repairing or repainting: Place a magnet on the vehicle’s body.

“It should cling to it fast if the vehicle is still in its original form,” Liberio explains. Otherwise, let's just say nothing beats the value of a second-hand car that’s “never been touched.”

Listen to the engine. The tune of a car’s engine can determine if the car has been sent to repairs, exposed to flooding or even overhauled from a total wreck. This can also help identify the mileage of the car.

The less odd, squeaky or clunky the engine sounds generally means the better the car’s condition.

Visit a car exchange showroom. This gives you a variety of car finds to choose from and even haggle the price with your dealer.

“You may have your eye for just a sedan, but you can come out of a display with an SUV instead because you can find a much better deal for your budget,” Liberio adds.

Choose the safest, legitimate transactions. Another thing about conducting business with sellers in a showroom is that it lessens exposure to security risks, such as an unscrupulous seller/buyer and even criminals, on both ends.

Whatever transactions you choose, always ensure that the car has been placed under a thorough process—from the validation to having the previous owner’s identity verified.

Buying second-hand vehicles can be like a walk in the park. All it takes is knowing where to look and how to spot a used car that’s worth every saved penny.

Till next time, this is Monico D. Mekaniko, Va-va-vroom!


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