Six checks be­fore buy­ing used

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - — Supplied.

IM­PE­RIAL Auto has asked its net­work of pre-owned car deal­ers for their ad­vice on buy­ing a used car, and culled these six checks from their an­swers.

• Talk to ex­perts: While there are many cred­i­ble deal­ers out there, your best bet is to start with a pre-owned ve­hi­cle deal­er­ship that is part of a fran­chised dealer net­work. These or­gan­i­sa­tions typ­i­cally have strin­gent poli­cies and pro­ce­dures in place to check the qual­ity of pre-owned ve­hi­cles, giv­ing you the peace of mind that you are pur­chas­ing your dream car, and not tak­ing on some­one else’s cast-off night­mare.

• Safety first: Each ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer has a stan­dard pre-owned safety check list, and all pre-owned cars pro­cessed by fran­chised deal­ers are checked against these lists to make sure that they still com­ply with all safety re­quire­ments. No doubt you’ll be trans­port­ing your fam­ily or friends in your ve­hi­cle, and you’ll want to be sure that they, and you, will be safe.

• Com­ply with the law: South African leg­is­la­tion re­quires that ev­ery pre-owned ve­hi­cle is sub­ject to a road­wor­thy test be­fore own­er­ship is trans­ferred. Above-board deal­er­ships will take care of this process for you, mak­ing sure that any­thing pre­vent­ing the road­wor­thy cer­tifi­cate be­ing is­sued is taken care of be­fore the sale is con­cluded.

• Be pre­pared: Make your­self a check­list to work through when you’re look­ing at pre­owned cars, no mat­ter which deal­er­ship you’re work­ing with. Ques­tions should in­clude:

• When was the car first reg­is­tered?

• What is the mileage on the odome­ter?

• What is the gen­eral con­di­tion of the car?

• Has this car been in an ac­ci­dent? • Has this car been re­sprayed?

• Is it pos­si­ble to ex­tend the war­ranty or ser­vice plan on this car?

• Does this car have a com­plete and au­then­tic ser­vice record?

• Were ser­vices com­pleted at an au­tho­rised deal­er­ship?

• Can you test the car? Al­ways test drive the car be­fore you make your fi­nal de­ci­sion. If you’re in­ter­ested in a par­tic­u­lar ve­hi­cle, chat to an Im­pe­rial Auto concierge ser­vice staffer in your area to help you find that par­tic­u­lar ve­hi­cle for test­ing.

• Con­sider your op­tions: Online shop­ping has changed the way that we make pur­chases, and the same is true when it comes to shop­ping for cars. You will have so many more op­tions to choose from if you look for a ve­hi­cle on any of the online ve­hi­cle sales web­sites that ser­vice South Africa.

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