Newcomers to the automotive world could be puzzled by all nuances that can arise when buying their first car. What should a motorist ask a seller about in the first place? How not to be trapped and/or cheated? What should a car enthusiast ask a seller about during the first contact and revealing all the key details?
To clarify these questions, we have decided to share some important points that will help you buy a car on your own, regardless of whether you are a newbie or an experienced driver.
Use this information to help you formulate the necessary questions. You will know which aspects you need to pay attention to first when talking to the seller about the car.
Look At What Is Hidden Behind The Curtain
All popular sites for used cars or salvage cars for sale, it doesn’t matter who’s standing behind them, vehicle owners or resellers, will try to present their product in the best possible way, keeping silent about some important details.
As a rule, all cars look good in the advertising pictures. Expect the listings to say the vehicle had only one owner, was used carefully, is in excellent condition, and has low mileage.
The buyer’s first task is to understand who they are dealing with, the vehicle owner or some sort of intermediary. It’s very easy to do. Copy the ad with the phone number, paste it into the Google search box, and click “Search.”
If you see that this isn’t the only ad for the sale of cars where the phone number is indicated, then you’re probably dealing with an intermediary who is engaged in the resale of vehicles with mileage. Keep in mind that many automobile dealerships or intermediaries pretend to be the owners.
You can also understand how long he has been in the brokerage business. If the “owner” has many similar ads, it means that it’s not their first year in the market, and the more commercials you see, the more time the reseller has been involved in the activity.
The next thing to pay attention to is the ad posting date. Good cars for an adequate price are sold in a matter of days. If the ad hangs for a long time, most likely, either the price is greatly inflated or something is wrong with the vehicle.
Some used car dealerships use little tricks. For example, the phone calls are answered by a girl who introduces herself as the owner of the car. You are happy with an easy deal since it will be easier to negotiate. You come to a car dealership, but there you are met by a salesman who says that the girl left the vehicle for them on commission.
This is done in order to attract customers. It’s undesirable to buy in situations like this, because the deal has already begun with deception. As a rule, in such places, cars are sold with problems or at an inflated price. Moreover, a decent firm won’t begin an acquaintance with a client by deception.
What Else Do You Need To Know From The Car Seller?
There are some important questions to ask a seller if you want to buy a well-condition automobile:
- You should ask what year is indicated in the technical manual of the car. Such a question isn’t accidental. Very often, sellers specify the start date of the operation and not the year of production, in the hope that the buyer won’t look at the documents before the re-registration operations.
- Specify how many owners this car has had. Check what paperwork the seller can provide. Is it the original technical manual for the vehicle or a duplicate? Are there markings on the technical documents about credit, collateral, restrictions, etc.?
- Ask how long the owner has had the car. If a person has driven the vehicle for several years and then wants to sell it, it is normal, but if it has been with the seller for several months, then this should be alarming.
- When communicating with the seller, as if in the middle of the case, clarify whether there were any accidents or whether any repair work was carried out on the body. If you were told that no work was done on the body, then find out if they know whether any work has been done by the previous owners. If you are told that everything is fine, then offer to check the body with a special device called a car paint tester. The body should not be neglected. It’s one of the most expensive car parts.
- Specify where the conducted maintenance took place: at the service center or if it was done on their own. If there are all maintenance marks, it means that the car’s mileage should be documented. You should also ask whether the car needs repairs and how much it will cost.
- Inquire whether there is a winter (summer) tire set available or if it comes with separate wheels. If there are none, include your costs for purchasing winter (summer) tires and installing tires on wheels.
- Don’t forget to ask about the gearbox and engine if they are working well.
- To save your time from the start, request the seller to send as many photos of the car as possible, taken from different angles, as well as photos of problem areas, body condition, damage, etc. In general, try to learn everything before inspecting the car.
If everything is fine, make an appointment to inspect the car. Good cars are bought quickly, so it is better to do it soon.
If you have done your homework and discovered all the information you sought after, then the next steps should be easy. Remember to never leave a deposit without seeing the car and making sure that the owner has all the documents.
If you are asked to transfer the deposit for the inspection of the car and paperwork, you are most likely talking to a fraudster!
Be sure to haggle, it never hurts to ask for a discount on the spot. Almost every car has some defects that the owner is silent about, but which can be detected by a specialist. Pointing them out directly to the seller during the inspection can also help lower the price.