Unlike buying a brand-new car, opting for a preloved one can be tricky and you will likely need a fair amount of knowledge in order to get the best deal. You obviously want to buy a car in the best condition possible at the lowest price. Just because you’re looking for a preloved car, doesn’t mean you’ll settle for a piece of junk.
Knowing what you need to do every step of the way is a start and will help you feel more confident and in control – and that’s exactly what we’ll aim to teach you in this ultimate guide to buying a used car.
Know What You Really Need
First and foremost, determine what type of car you really need before contacting sellers. Arm yourself with knowledge about car models and their price range. This way, you can choose what you really want and what you need.
For instance, you may want a bigger car, like a van or an SUV if you have a family. You can ask for comments and pointers from your relatives, friends, or colleagues. If you know someone who has a car, ask him or her about the pros and cons of that particular car model. This way, you can narrow down your choices.
Determine Your Budget
The most important part of the car buying process is the budget. Is your money enough to buy a good car, or is it enough to buy an old model car? This means that, if you have saved enough to buy a more expensive model, you can. On the other hand, those with a smaller budget can still find a preloved car.
It’s important to remember that cars are depreciating assets. Whilst it might be tempting to increase your budget and buy a car that’s more expensive, keep in mind that this is an expense you will not recoup.
Cars, even the cheapest ones, are expensive if you are a regular employee. When eyeing to buy a secondhand car, it’s important to stick with the 20% rule. Only 20% of your annual salary should be spent on cars.
Search For Used Cars On The Internet
The internet is the perfect place to look for used cars and compare their prices. This way, you can have a wide range of choices, before choosing the best one that will suit your needs. There are many websites in the Philippines where you can browse classified ads of “for sale” automobiles.
OLX is one of the oldest online shopping portals in the Philippines. It has been a go-to page for buying and selling a used car and car parts since 2006. Aside from cars, they also sell motorcycles, pick-up trucks, and other automobiles. It also allows you to talk directly with the seller and have negotiations with the price.
Carmudi Philippines, just like OLX, is a classified ads website where you can browse used or pre-loved cars. It offers the best current deals of the Philippine car market. Aside from buying used cars, you can also sell your car on their website.
Autodeal is a car website, offering not only tips and the price ranges of various car models but it also shows a list of potential cars to purchase.
Compare Used Car Prices
The next thing to do is to determine what the car is worth? There are many factors that can influence the value of the car like the year it was produced, the mileage, accident history, and maintenance, among others.
Inspect The Vehicle
Inspecting the car is where you should put most of your time. You don’t want to end up buying a faulty car, right? Besides, you’re looking for a used car and, in most cases, you won’t have a warranty. It’s better to check everything first before signing the deal. Here are the main things you want to look at.
You want to make sure the car is running well and not misfiring. Obviously, the engine is the most important part of the vehicle and one of the most expensive to fix. Once the engine dies, it can in some cases be cheaper to buy a whole new car.
In inspecting the car, check for its overall condition – dents, scratches, and repairs. See if there are any signs of poor repair like haps between body panels. This visual test will give you some clues as to how well or how poorly the vehicle has been looked after.
A history report is valuable since it will reveal the car’s potential problems. What’s more, it will show how well the previous owner has maintained and took care of the car. Make sure the car is not stolen and it has not been in a previous accident.
Other Important Things To Check
Make sure you check the oil, test the radio and turn on the lights. Lastly, check the interior of the car and its tires. It’s imperative to check the vehicle in broad daylight and take your time over checking both the exterior and interior of the car.
Check The Mileage When You Buy A Used Car
One of the things you should check when buying a used car is the mileage, which measures the number of miles covered or traveled. The average mileage covered is about 10,000 miles per year, so if the odometer shows high numbers out of the car’s age, you should wonder why. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller.
The most common pitfall is going for a car with high mileage. Cars with higher mileage can be much cheaper than those with lower mileage. But beware – there is a reason for that. The higher the mileage, the more the car has been driven and the more you’re likely to have to spend on fixes and maintenance.
It’s crucial to be assured that the car performs at its best and there should be no problems at all. The best way to do this is to take the car for a test drive. You namely want to test the engine, the brakes and the handling of the vehicle. You’ll want to use all of your senses to do this! Listen out for any noises that may seem unnatural coming from the car, like squeaking coming from the brakes. Look out for any visual warning signs such as smoke. Use your nose too – if you smell oil or petrol, that’s definitely a warning.
You can test all gears, side mirrors, stability, sensors, and windows, among others. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to hire a reputable and experienced mechanic to come along so he can tell you what else is wrong with the car. Understandably not everyone is an expert, so getting a third-party opinion is advisable. You can check out famous auto shops in your area for third-party checks. In Manila, you can visit ValuePlus Auto Service and Ziebart CarSavers.
Negotiate For A Fair Price And Close The Deal
If you’re satisfied, it’s time to close the deal. But first, don’t forget to negotiate for a fair price. Close the deal and make sure all the documents are complete. Lastly, when closing the deal, there should an agreement between you and the seller, discuss the warranty, and make sure you will receive a deed of sale.
There you have it, all you need to follow to get the best deal in buying a used car in the Philippines.