A quick guide to get the best deal for your money when buying a second-hand car

Checklist what to ask when buying a second-hand car

16. Feb 2021
A quick guide to get the best deal for your money when buying a second-hand car

We all know how exhausting and frustrating buying a car can be and some things can be forgotten or overseen during the buying process. We are giving a short guide on what to look out for when buying a used car and what to ask a seller to make that purchasing process easier for you.


How do I get the best deal on a used car?

  1. Decide what is your budget. A first and most important step in the cars buying experience. A recommendation is not to look more expensive cars than you can afford to avoid disappointments.
  2. Do your research. Make a list of features that you want for your vehicle to have and see what is there on market to offer.
  3. Check the resale value of the car. This is important as you don’t want your car to lose their value fast because that would mean that you will lose your money too. 
  4. Check out the used cars in your area. In most of the cases, there is a perfectly good car in your area, and that will save you a lot of time and money on travel. If not expand your area of looking.
  5. Check out the vehicle. When you find your car you need to inspect it. Make a list of things to inspect so you don’t oversee anything.
  6. Bring someone with you (mechanic). That would be very helpful. A professional mechanic will give you an honest opinion and maybe will point you on to some minor faults that you didn’t even think about. 
  7. Do a test drive. That is a must-do. You have to feel how the whole car behaves on the road when it is turning, how much is vibrating, etc…It would be the best if you would test it on minor and major roads but if that is not possible, we recommend you to take at least for a 15-minute ride.
  8. Make the salesman give the first price. That way you will have an open-loop for negotiation and you will put pressure of yourself on to a seller as you are in a position to walk away and as they are selling their car probably want to get rid of it as soon as possible.
  9. ALWAYS Negotiate for the price. In most of the cases if you negotiate you will get 10% of the original selling price. After all that is your money, so even if the seller doesn’t want to reduce the price it won’t hurt to ask.
  10. Close the deal. Last step in this process. Do it ONLY if you are happy with what you are getting for the price that you are paying for. Just remember that you are the buyer and you have the power to say no and walk away. After all, the car market is huge and you will find something for you.


Car purchase


What to ask and check when buying a used car from a private seller

  1. What is the reason for selling their car?
  2. How long have they owned it? Are they the first owner? If not, do they have ownership history?
  3. Did they change anything recently on the car? Is it modified in any way?
  4. Does real condition matches description in the ad? Any dents or scratches that aren’t shown on the pictures?
  5. Are there any features that don’t work or issues with the vehicle that aren’t shown on the description and pictures?
  6. Has the vehicle ever been in the crash? If yes, which part of the car was damaged and repaired?
  7. Would you mind if I take a mechanic with me for an inspection?
  8. Does it have all supporting documentation and can I see it? (Car service history, ownership history, the title of the car)



Confused face during the purchase


What to ask for when buying a used car from a dealer

  1. Who has driven this car before?
  2. From where did this vehicle come from?
  3. May I see the logbook? Does it have a good service history?
  4. Can I take it for some test drive and for how long? How many times has it been test-driven since is here on the lot?
  5. Am I getting a warranty and for how long? What does it cover that warranty? Does it cover all workmanship and spare parts?
  6. Has dealership done any work on this second-hand vehicle?
  7. What will be the total price of the car?
  8. Can you give me a better offer?
  9. Will I get any accessories, equipment or new parts that will be included in this price?
  10. Will I get a discount if I buy a car for cash?
  11. How long will be my cooling-off period?


Car purchased


We made this guide to help you during the process of your car buying. If you are following this guide during your buying process of second-hand car you will get the best value for your money. Don’t be in a rush and don’t feel pressured by the seller to buy the car that they are selling. After all, you are the one who is making the final decision and you want to make it right. And don’t forget to enjoy the whole process of buying a car!


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Car enthusiast with years of mechanic experience.
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