Thinking of Buying a Used Vehicle ? The Internet and the newspapers are full of classified advertisements filled with vehicles often presented as rare pearls. Before driving tens or hundreds of kilometers to see the car, a few questions allow you to get a more precise idea about the vehicle, but also about the seller. Here are our tips.
Questions to ask before calling the seller
What is your budget ?
For effective and constructive research, clearly determine your budget. If you are clear in your head, you will be in a strong position when it comes to negotiating the price of the car.
What is the fair value of the vehicle?
Before contacting the seller, it is essential to gather some basic information about the car, in particular its argus auto rating . Thanks to this, you will know the prices generally practiced for the same model, as well as its possible weaknesses. The more you seem to know about it, the less the seller will tend to exaggerate the advantages of his vehicle.
Questions to ask the seller
Before you go to see or try a used car, it is advisable to ask the seller a few questions so as not to disturb you for nothing. Here is a non-exhaustive list, to be completed on paper if necessary in order to be sure not to forget anything:
What is the current mileage of the vehicle?
The number of kilometers on the odometer is an essential criterion for determining a fair price and better understanding the use of the vehicle. You should know that a discount for additional mileage generally applies to the purchase price, but also to the amount of compensation by car insurance in the event of an accident. In addition, many odometers being tampered with, it is advisable to be particularly vigilant when checking the mileage of the car .
What is the observed fuel consumption?
The actual consumption is financially interesting insofar as this value is sometimes quite far from that announced by the manufacturer. It also gives an indication of how the car is used: city, road or mixed.
What is the general condition of the vehicle?
Feel free to have additional photos of the car’s body sent to you, as this is a good indicator of the overall maintenance of the vehicle and how it has been driven. Indeed, if you ask the question frankly, you will rarely get a 100% honest answer. Ditto for possible repairs, often minimized, especially when they are consecutive to a disaster.
Is there a technical control?
Know that to sell a used car, the technical control is mandatory , unless it is less than 4 years old or if the seller is a professional. On the other hand, the counter-visit is not. You can indeed buy the car in the state and take the repairs at your expense knowingly. In this case, you will have to negotiate so that the costs are distributed as best as possible. Of course, if a counter-visit is planned, the technical inspection must be less than 2 months old.
Is it a first, second or third hand vehicle?
Several successive owners are as many risks that the car has been abused, even if sometimes only one is enough. Too frequent changes of ownership can also be linked to recurring mechanical problems.
Is the price negotiable ?
A definite no doesn’t mean the car is actually worth the asking price. It can be an argument to make you believe it. Ditto if the seller urges you to come and see the vehicle on the pretext that several potential buyers are in the ranks. Tell yourself that if this were the case, the vehicle would already be sold.
And after hanging up?
Don’t stop at just one ad
Even if the offer is interesting, a used car is rarely a unique piece, it is better to compare several offers.
Moderate your enthusiasm!
By showing too much interest, you risk not benefiting from the best conditions to negotiate the price. This is why if the vehicle seems to meet your expectations, it is best to give yourself some time to think it over before calling the seller back to ask him a few additional questions to show him that you have made inquiries in the meantime. Remember that the purchase of a used vehicle begins with a negotiation phase between two parties with diametrically opposed interests: the seller wants to get the best possible price for his vehicle and as quickly as possible, while the buyer wants to get the lowest price.
Ask to see and try the car
Once you’ve come to an agreement with the seller and have your questions answered, it’s time to go see the vehicle. If you are unsure of yourself, have someone close to you accompany you. He will be able to advise you and you will have the strength of the number for you. Before trying the vehicle, examine it carefully! Everything must be scrutinized: the bodywork, the inside of the bonnet, the engine, the speedometer, the tires, etc. Ideally, set the appointment during the day, any defects being more visible in broad daylight. Finally, go for a little ride with the car. An essential element of the choice of vehicle, the road test must be taken very seriously. This is precisely what will allow you to ensure that the vehicle runs smoothly, including on different roads.
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