Buying a second-hand car always raises doubts, since we do not know what use its previous owner has given it or its maintenance history. However, in many cases, acquiring a used vehicle is the best option, especially for drivers who have just obtained their driving license and are looking for a car to start with. It is important to test the car before buying it
To make a safe purchase and clear up any doubt or fear that may arise, the RACE explains the steps we must follow when purchasing a second-hand car or buy from the best platform like Auto For Trade:
- First of all, it is very important to be clear about what model of car we are looking for and how much money we are willing to pay. The best option is to select two or three models to search and compare offers on different websites or specialized centers.
- Second, once we find several models that fit our needs, it is necessary to call the seller, since he can give us many clues about the condition and history of the vehicle. During the call it is important to ask all the questions we have, such as the reason for the sale, if the car sleeps in a garage, etc.
- Third, we must check that the data indicated by the seller is correct, so it is essential to ask for a copy of the documentation (road tax, maintenance book, technical sheet, etc.). In case of not being able to get the documentation, another option is to go to the General Directorate of Traffic and request the car report, in which all the data regarding the owners, fines, and embargoes are recorded.
- Finally, after collecting and analyzing all the information, if the vehicle meets our needs, we can go to see it in person to check its status live and take a test drive.
To know if the vehicle convinces us at all or not, it is best to take a test drive. We must bear in mind that it is not easy to detect possible faults in the first contact, however, you can know if something is not working well by applying these tips during the car test:
- The first thing we always do is check the bodywork, that there are no dents or corrosion, and that the paint is in good condition. It is important to make sure that you do not have old sheet metal repairs, as this supposes possible major blows in the past.
- When activating the ignition and starting the vehicle, first of all we must check that no light signal or alert message remains on the instrument panel.
- We must pay special attention to the noises that are generated when pressing the brake pedal. If you hear them, it is very likely that the vehicle needs a change of the pads and even the brake discs.
- It is important to check that each one of the insertions of the gears occurs without any problem, that is, without jerks and without any type of strange noise.
- Pay attention to the color of the smoke, since it offers us clues about possible mechanical problems depending on the color (grayish, black, bluish, etc.)
- During the test it is advisable to have a trusted mechanic present, so that they listen and identify abnormal sounds, check the levels and perform a visual inspection of the engine.
- If we have the presence of a trusted mechanic, he can analyze the condition of the radiator and check the cooling system.
- During the test, it is important to turn on the air conditioning and climate control to check their correct operation. They should not make noises or generate bad odors.
- We must check the lighting system in a dark area, for example, a garage, to verify the correct operation of all lights and headlights. It is essential to check all of them: short, long, fog lights, turn signals, brake lights, position, warning, reverse gear, etc.
- To check the tires and suspensions, we must check the pressure, the depth of the tread, the wear of the tread and pay attention to the presence of bumps or cuts. During the test, we must be aware that there are no abnormal noises, vibrations or swings.