Used Car buy­ing tips

The Oban Times - - DRIVING FORCE -

A record num­ber of used cars were pur­chased dur­ing 2016 and the trend shows no signs of let­ting up. While buy­ing a used car can be a gam­ble, our tips can help you avoid a lemon.

Talk to own­ers of sim­i­lar ve­hi­cles. Ask about main­te­nance, prob­lems and mileage. Many on­line fo­rums are ded­i­cated to spe­cific makes and mod­els and can be a good re­source for owner feed­back.

Get fa­mil­iar with cur­rent pric­ing. Check the used ve­hi­cle ads in the clas­si­fied sec­tion of The Oban Times, used ve­hi­cle ad­ver­tis­ing specialty pub­li­ca­tions and on­line ser­vices.

De­ter­mine if you want to pur­chase a ve­hi­cle from a pri­vate owner or a dealer. While you might be able to ne­go­ti­ate a lower price from a pri­vate owner, the ve­hi­cle usu­ally does not come with a guar­an­tee that many deal­ers of­fer.

If you’re buy­ing the ve­hi­cle from a dealer, read the con­tract care­fully. If there are prob­lems that need to be cor­rected, make sure the dealer takes care of them be­fore you drive away. Read ev­ery­thing be­fore you sign, ask ques­tions if you do not un­der­stand some­thing and keep a copy of the con­tract.

In a pri­vate sale, check that the seller is, in fact, the reg­is­tered owner of the ve­hi­cle. Make sure you get the ve­hi­cle’s ti­tle and a bill of sale. Re­mem­ber, most pri­vate party sales are ‘as is’.

Al­ways take a road test. Make sure the test is more than just a drive around the block. Check how the ve­hi­cle han­dles at high­way speeds and in stop-and-go traf­fic.

Have a me­chanic check it out. You will likely have to pay a fee to have the ve­hi­cle in­spected; how­ever it’s worth the money to catch loom­ing me­chan­i­cal prob­lems in ad­vance.

Shop around. Don’t be so en­am­oured with a par­tic­u­lar model that good judg­ment falls by the way­side. The first one you see may not be the best deal.

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