Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car

Privately purchasing might be intimidating, but it can also be rewarding if you ask the correct questions.

When buying a car privately, there’s a lot riding on getting it right. If you don’t understand the whole story before handing over your cash, credit card information, or a bank cheque, it can be a costly exercise.

However, it does not have to be a difficult or frightening process. A basic ‘audit’ of the car from its images in the ad can be the first step in the process of buying a car privately. Any obvious questions can then be directed to the vendor by phone or email.

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.


Be Alert and Don’t Get Complacent

The process of purchasing a used car has been revolutionised by online portals. It’s a lot easier now than it was in the ancient days, and finding the car you want is a lot easier. However, this does not imply that you should treat the purchasing procedure as a stroll in the park.

The ad won’t tell you everything you need to know about the car you’re considering. You’ll need to keep an eye out for certain less-obvious hazards.

Has the car already been heavily damaged, and was it restored by one of those shady shops that cut corners to save money?. That’s the first in a sequence of questions you should ask the owner.

Inquiring directly with the owner is the best approach to obtain this type of information. It’s crucial to remember, though, that you might not obtain a completely honest response. However, it is preferable to ask than to let the seller off the hook completely.

Checking the photographs of the vehicle stated in the ad before you start asking questions is one method to prepare yourself for the vendor being economical with the facts. Request an opinion from a friend who knows a little about the car you’re considering buying based on a visual inspection of the vehicle. Ask your friendly expert to come along and assist you with your interrogation of the owner if they’re willing. They might notice something in the owner’s response that doesn’t seem quite right and calls for additional investigation.

Examine The Images of The Car

Before contacting a seller, look over the images to save time and avoid unwanted conversation. It also allows you to get right to the point and receive the information you need.

Be cautious that photographs can make a vehicle appear much better than it actually is. Despite this, they are nonetheless capable of providing you with a wealth of information. Expand the image to see the gaps surrounding the doors, boot, and bonnet in greater detail. Is it even possible? Is there a difference in colour between the panels? Are the doors, bonnet, and back hatch/boot lid flush with the rest of the panels?

What isn’t visible in the photographs may be more significant than what is. Are there any important photos missing? Is there a photo of both sides of the vehicle, as well as the front and back, in the advertisement? What’s to stop you? Why aren’t there any interior or engine shots? Is it possible for the vendor to provide further photos?

By comparing it to photographs of similar vehicles, you may figure out what the body and cabin elements for that vehicle should be. Are there any details, such as wheels, insignia, or other objects, that fit the vehicle’s description? If not, inquire about any discrepancies with the vendor. Examine the under-bonnet photographs and compare them to similar models. Are there any differences in important components? Has the car been altered in any way? Is it in accordance with the description?

Take a look at the cabin images. Is the upholstery, trim, and other interior elements correct for the model and year? Check against similar models once more. Is the vehicle in good condition? Is the condition of the vehicle compatible with other assertions made about it? What else are you going to find if an owner can’t be bothered to prepare the car for photos?.

Our Job is to Ask The Questions!

The vast majority of vehicle owners will tell you the truth about their vehicles to you, the customer. They simply want to sell the car and be completely honest about it. However, approaching any transaction with a merchant with a suspicious mind will not harm your interests.

Before you get serious about making a counteroffer, there are some tell-tale indicators you should take note of and file away for later consideration. During a property settlement dispute, we’ve already highlighted the potential that the seller is not authorised to sell his or her partner’s car.

It has also been mentioned that there is a lot of damage. A car that has been in a serious accident and is almost but not quite written off by the insurance company can be a money pit, a nightmare of inconvenience, and a source of laughs among your friends and family. Don’t be afraid to inquire about noticeable paint overspray under the bonnet, especially near the firewall between the engine and the cabin.

A secondhand car that is sold within months after purchase because a family member dislikes it is another red flag. This is a popular justification given by phony repairers, backyard traders, and others.

Has it been touted as a ‘low kilometre’ example of the model? It’s not uncommon for instrument clusters to be replaced, with the odometer indicating a substantially shorter mileage travelled. Sellers should be particularly questioned if they’re willing to guarantee that the car’s odometer reading is accurate. Especially if the service documents have vanished without a trace. Do they have any other records to back up this mileage (for example, service invoices)? In Australia’s wrecking yards, instrument clusters with 70000 to 95000 kilometres on the odometer are in high demand.

When it saves them and your time, honest vendors who have a real automobile to sell will usually support you in this procedure. You may fine-tune your communication with the seller and save time for both sides by working through these topics.

What You Must Hear From The Car Seller

– What are the specifics of the vehicle they’re selling?
– Do those particulars correspond to the ad?
– Is the vehicle equipped with the characteristics you require?
– Is the year the car was first registered the same as the year it was built?
– What is the total number of registrations?
– Is there a current Roadworthy Certificate (RWC) on the vehicle?
– How long has the car been in the seller’s possession?
– Is the seller the sole owner of the vehicle?
– Is it legal for the owner to sell it?
– Has the car been in the seller’s possession since it was new?
– Who was the previous owner of the vehicle?
– What’s the point of selling?
– What is the mileage on the odometer?
– What is the seller’s assessment of the vehicle’s state?
– Has it been involved in a collision?
– Which sections of the car were damaged in the event of a collision?
– What was the location of the repair?
– Is there a warranty on the repairs?
– Is there any outstanding finance, or is it a lease agreement?
– What kind of ownership documents, previous registration certificates, service histories, and significant repair information can they provide?
– Has the owner lately replaced any parts?
– Has it been tampered with in any way?
– Are they willing to bargain if the price appears to be too high?

If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

Source: carsales.com.au

Best Questions to Ask Before You Buy That Used Car

When buying a used car privately, paperwork is all-important. The same is true when buying a used car from a dealer, and it can also be stressful. But if you go into it prepared and make sure you ask the right questions—of yourself and the dealer—it will be a lot easier. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions wherever you choose to buy, either. Although there’s no obligation for sellers to volunteer information about a car they’re selling, any questions you ask must be answered truthfully—otherwise, the vendor is breaking the law.

General Questions to Ask Yourself

1. How much can I afford to spend? Make sure you know your budget before you go looking. Also, this will help you decide if you need to look into financing or not.

2. How big of a car do I need? This will help you narrow it down based on things like how big your family is, if you will need to haul a lot of stuff, or if you will be driving it in narrow streets.

3. How will I use this car? Depending on your needs, you may need a specific kind or type of car.

4. Can I take it on a test drive? Always make sure you try the car before you buy it. Get some of our best tips on how to get the most out of your test drive here.

5. What fees will I pay in addition to the price? You will never pay just the listed price. There may be dealership fees, taxes, etc.

6. Dealer or private? A car dealer is generally the safest place to buy a used car, as there’s a degree of legal protection implied by its status as a business. A car dealer has an obligation to properly prepare a car before the sale, including verifying that its recorded mileage is correct.

7. Should I buy new or used? If you can afford a brand new car, it’s nice to treat yourself. However, buying a used car that’s only a year or two old will save you a lot on depreciation. Buying a car can easily become a very emotional decision, so be sure to keep a clear head and seek the advice of someone that you trust when you narrow down your car.

Questions to Ask the Seller/Dealer

1. Why are you selling the car? The seller could answer this question in a few ways. They might be ready for an upgrade or perhaps the car’s size doesn’t suit their lifestyle anymore. It’s good to know the reasons behind this change because you might run into the same issues down the line.

2. How long have you owned the car? If they recently purchased the vehicle and they are already selling it, take note as this could mean they ran into problems with the car.

3. Has it been in any accidents? In some cases, accidents are reported on a vehicle history report—but don’t assume these reports catch everything. If the car was in an accident, find out how it was damaged and how it was fixed.

4. What features don’t work the way they’re supposed to? Older used cars nearly always have something wrong with them. It might not be a deal-breaker—for example, if it’s a malfunctioning CD player. But other defects can come as annoying surprises, such as weak air conditioning, blown speakers or missing pixels in displays.

5. Is there any reason you wouldn’t drive the car coast-to-coast tomorrow? This is a fun question and sometimes throws the seller off balance. But if the answer is a resounding “No, there’s nothing wrong with the car,” that’s a nice vote of confidence.

6. What is the ownership history? “If the seller doesn’t really have many details about the car or only owned it a short time, that’s a warning sign,” Holthoff says. “I’m looking for a seller who really cared for the car for several years or more.” When searching for good used cars, he recommends using keywords like “original owner” or “service records” or even “garaged.”

7. How did you arrive at this price? If you’ve asked all the above questions, and you’re getting serious about buying the car, find out how the seller priced it. Many people simply pick a figure out of the air. If the seller says he or she used a pricing guide, you can double-check to see if the price is accurate.

8. Do you have the title in hand? If there’s a loan on the car from the bank, the seller might not have the title. Or they may not know where it is. These are problems that can be worked around, but it’s best to buy from someone who actually has the title of the car easily accessible.

9. Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection? It’s important that you take the car to a professional pre-purchase car inspector so you can get an expert’s opinion on what’s happening with the car under the hood. If the seller hesitates then this could be a red flag that there’s something they don’t want you to know.

As you can imagine, these questions will come in handy. Are you getting a good deal or buying someone else’s issues?

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection to ensure that your dream car is operating properly.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: requestyourcar.com, canstarblue.com.au, carbuyer.co.uk, nerdwallet.com