7 questions to ask before buying a second-hand vehicle
What are the questions to ask before buying a second-hand vehicle?
With spring just around the corner and all the enticing liquidations of dealerships, many drivers are considering purchasing a new vehicle, which increases the number of second-hand vehicles on the market.
As most vehicles lose more than a third of their total value in their first year of usage, buying a second-hand vehicle can be a very good option! But how to proceed?
For most consumers, buying a vehicle is the second most important expense of their lives after purchasing their homes. Therefore, it is not to be taken lightly.
It is imperative to avoid any hasty decision and to analyze his needs before the purchase.
We’ve prepared a four steps guide to help you with this exhilarating, but sometimes stressful process.
1. What is your budget?
These three components could facilitate your final choice by considering the substantial amount of money they could save you over a longer period of time:
– Analyze your financial situation and budget for your car. Set a maximum price to avoid madness.
– Keep in mind that the budget issue is not limited to the purchase price but also covers the overall cost of use including: insurance, maintenance and gasoline consumption.
– Does the vehicle have high maintenance costs? Is it a frequently stolen vehicle (which will increase the cost of your insurance)? Does it consume too much gasoline?
2. What are your real needs?
It is important to properly evaluate your current vehicle and the coveted one:
– Think long term! If you’ll try to have a child in the following year, the two-seater convertible is probably not the smartest choice.
– Who will use this new car? If you share your vehicle with your newly certified teenager-driver, a luxury car could put a little too much pressure on his/her shoulders in its beginnings (on yours too…).
– How much space do you need? If you plan to go camping each weekend during the summer, avoid buying a SMART.
– What kind of drive will you take? If your vehicle is to move around town, it is better to opt for a car that is easy to park (please avoid falling for a HUMMER). If you cover long distances and need a safe and comfortable vehicle, an SUV might suit you best.
– What type of motorization are you interested in? Diesel is preferred for long distances. Environmentalists may be attracted to a hybrid vehicle or an electric vehicle.
Ask yourself all possible questions. Weigh the pros and cons. Exchange with your loved ones to feed you from different points of view and research online to find out the opinions of other consumers.
3. Is it a reliable and safe vehicle?
Are you approaching your final choice? Compare the reputation of the previous models of your future purchase. It could give you a good idea of its reliability rate!
Check the collision tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
4. What are your rights?
Quebec drivers have excellent guarantees to protect them from dishonest sellers. The seller must display an all-inclusive price, communicate the actual mileage and notify the buyer of any defect. The seller must also allow a test drive and an inspection. If the latter is not conclusive, the seller is obliged to repay the totality of the deposit made by the buyer. If you find a defect while you are inspecting the vehicle or if your mechanic finds one while doing its part of the inspection, ask if it can be repaired prior to your purchase.
What should be the duration of your test drive? We suggest thirty minutes to allow you the right time to check that the vehicle is running well and that it is adapted to your needs.
If you are dealing with a merchant, contact the Consumer Protection Office to ensure that it has never received complaints.
When purchasing a second-hand vehicle, it may be beneficial to deal directly with the owner if he has properly maintained his vehicle over time. Make sure you do business with the real owner!
Ask him when and from whom the vehicle was purchased. If there were previous owners, you want to ensure that the vehicle has been properly maintained.
You can also ask for the registrations of the vehicle and a piece of identification from the owner. Confirm that the documents match to confirm that the seller really is the owner of the vehicle.
Ask to see the vehicle maintenance record and a CarProof report if possible. If the seller does not have one, ask the VIN to be able to purchase this report yourself at a cost of $ 50. The CarProof report shows whether the vehicle was involved in an accident, stolen or tampered with.
Also, send a file request to the SAAQ to have the full history of the transactions and owners of the vehicle.
Finally, do not forget to check at the RDPRM that the vehicle is not linked to any debt.
Do not forget to think carefully before you buy.
No hasty decision.
Enjoy your shopping,
Your Auto Value Expert.
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