Shopping for a reliable second hand car

Shopping For A Reliable Second Hand Car

Repossessions and forced sales, prevalent during the economic downturn, are, however, a platinum lining for those who can afford good, certified used cars in Cape Town. Customers are encouraged to shop for their mode of transport at reputable car dealerships or at one of the many used car auctions held in the city.

Before signing on the dotted line, however, it’s crucial to do a bit of homework:

  • Research the make and model you are interested in and make a note of any common problems or complaints. When you test drive the car, you’ll know what defects to look for.
  • Do a thorough check of the vehicle’s history. You’ll need the vehicle’s VIN number and although you’ll have to pay for the report, it could save you a heap of cash in the future.
  • Take your time and give both the interior and exterior of the car a methodical inspection. How carefully has it been maintained? Are there dents and scratches on the bodywork? Do the body panels match up perfectly? Are the lines of the body perfect? If not, it’s a sure sign the car has been in an accident. Make a note of the problems and see if the dealer is prepared to repair the damages or re-negotiate the selling price. Avoid a used car with corrosion and one that hasn’t been properly maintained, you’re likely to end up with a ‘lemon’.
  • Always have the car inspected by a reputable independent motor mechanic or take it to the Automobile Association for the ‘once-over’.
  • Take the car on a prolonged test drive or arrange to keep it overnight if possible, this will give you plenty of time to reveal any major defects or problems.

Although the bulk of Cape Town used car dealerships come highly recommended there is always the odd ‘rogue’ intent on ripping off the customer. To ensure you are getting the best deal possible ask the following questions of your preferred used car dealer:

  1. Is the car certified? If so, demand to see the pre-certification inspection.
  2. Who was the previous owner? If a trade-in to the dealership, ask for the maintenance records.
  3. When last was the car serviced by the dealership?
  4. Does the vehicle have a warranty?

Once the car dealer has answered all your queries and you’ve had the car independently assessed, it’s more than likely safe to sign the sales agreement.

Remember there is an entire range of good, reliable used cars in Cape Town. Although the recent recall by Toyota of millions of vehicles throughout the world is undoubtedly nerve wracking for most, big brand names such as General Motors have an array of used cars renowned to go on and on.

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