Whether it is to change cars or to acquire their first vehicle, most consumers prefer the second-hand market. While this often allows them to avoid taking out a car loan, it is sometimes difficult to choose the right used car. We therefore offer you a list of advice and checks to be carried out before the final purchase of the vehicle.
Choose your type of motorization
car mechanic, if diesel is very popular in both the used and new markets, it does not necessarily correspond to your desires or needs. Perhaps you would rather have a gasoline engine, an electric car or a hybrid? If you are not familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of each type of motorization, do not hesitate to refer to our article on the subject.
Define your budget
Before you even start buying your used vehicle, ask yourself how much you are willing to invest. Are you ready to buy a cheap car and make some repairs, or would you prefer to buy a car ready to drive a little more expensive?
Check the documentation
Even on occasion, buying a car can be a big investment. It is therefore normal that you have all the information you can about the vehicle. Remember that the roadworthiness test must be carried out before the transaction.
Carte grise: a very important document for the circulation of a car
Ask to see the vehicle registration document, maintenance logbook, invoices related to vehicle maintenance and the manufacturer’s manual. The presence and proper maintenance of all these documents is an indicator of the seriousness of your interlocutor.
Beware of scams
A few tips to see if the car has no hidden defects:
look at the condition of the pedals, if the pedals are very worn and the meter indicates 60,000 km, it is not normal
buy a small device that measures the thickness of paint. If the car has been repainted due to accident or corrosion, the device will show an abnormal thickness of paint.
put your hand on the steering wheel to see if it has not been deformed due to an impact, accident or accident
Seek the advice of a specialist
If you live in the Mons region of Belgium, ask one of the mechanics at the Comptoir du Pneu to come and visit you. Feel free to ask him to come and inspect and test the vehicle with you. If this is not the case, you have the option of paying a professional to inspect the car you want to buy. Rates vary significantly from one professional to another, so ask for an estimate and make sure it fits your budget.
Check the condition of the car
It’s obvious: if the car is extremely damaged, don’t buy it. However, there are many parameters and places to inspect on a car. A vehicle may appear in good condition at first glance but have many small defects that may become unmanageable and very expensive when accumulated. That’s why it’s imperative to really inspect the car in broad daylight in a place with good light.
Inspect the exterior of the car
Even without being a specialist, you can quickly spot problems on the outside. First, check that the bodywork is not damaged. Even if the car looks very good or is rebuilt, don’t forget that there are dishonest sellers who try to hide imperfections. Check the general condition of the vehicle, windows and seals. It is also important to check the tires. You buy a second-hand model, so it is normal that not everything is perfect. The main purpose of the inspection is to find the problems to solve on the vehicle, to prepare your budget, and to be able to negotiate with the seller.
Inspect the inside of the car and open the hood
Here again, even without being a specialist, you can already easily carry out some checks. For example, make sure that all on-board controls are working. Inspect the condition of the seats carefully and try to detect any traces of moisture. Don’t be afraid to open the cover. Checking the condition of the motor is essential. You must check that there are no leaks. The presence of a white liquid on the various engine components is also a very bad sign. In this case, it is better to abandon the transaction.
Check the replacement of the timing belt
To avoid unpleasant surprises after purchase, ask if the timing belt has been replaced. If so, ask to see the documents attesting to this replacement. Indeed, if the timing belt has not been changed and the vehicle has already driven a lot, you may find yourself with additional costs very quickly.
Try the vehicle
Whether you want to purchase your car from an individual or a dealer, you should never accept the transaction without being able to try the car. Professionals are aware of this need and will systematically accept a test drive of the vehicle. If the car is sold by a private individual, and he refuses to let you try it, do not buy it.