When it comes to a new car, you usually know what you’re getting into, but how do you recognize a good used car? What do you have to pay attention to? Here are some tips.
Whether you search the used car markets on the Internet or the traditional newspaper advertisements, it is probably a matter of taste. The majority of shrewd used car buyers will undoubtedly use both channels for their search, and the shrewder ones will only purchase used cars that have already undergone inspection and certification by a reputable dealer like LA City Cars.
The online portals offer a huge range. You can quickly find vehicles using search and filter functions such as price, desired model, or mileage.
What should you buy?
Which car you should choose depends on many factors, such as personal preferences and your budget. Do you need a family car with space for children and strollers? Or should it be more of a fun car, like a convertible for fun trips? Or even a sports car? Do you need an economical car for long journeys to work, or is it intended as a second or even third car for short trips?
Prospective buyers who can be flexible with their preferences have an advantage. Even if you don’t decide on a brand, model, or engine, it’s easier to find a suitable vehicle.
Where should you buy?
Those interested in a used vehicle have two options for purchasing a vehicle. You can buy it from a private provider or a dealer, whether you do it traditionally on site or via an online platform. Cars from private sellers are often cheaper than those from commercial providers, but in return, you receive a warranty and liability for material defects from the dealer. LA City Cars provides the best warranties and inspections. You will drive away with peace of mind.
When should you buy?
It’s best to buy a convertible in the fall and a winter-equipped car in the summer. In general, we have noticed in recent years that demand and, therefore, prices for used vehicles increase during autumn and winter. However, in the summer, and especially during the holiday season, interest in purchasing a previously owned vehicle decreases, and prices are then cheaper.
What should you pay attention to when researching?
When researching, you should pay attention to information about age, condition (accident-free), or when the next general inspection is due. The number of previous owners is also important information. You can get a first visual impression online using the published images. Does it look neat and clean? Are there any interior photos? Do the written statements match the appearance of the vehicle? LA City Cars provides the best online photos and descriptions.
You should be suspicious if the stated price is significantly below the average of comparable offers. Although there are always bargains in the form of a well-preserved, rarely driven, and extremely well-maintained car from the first owner that can be sold cheaply due to the circumstances, these are rare. If an upfront payment is also required, all alarm bells should go off.
Where should you meet with the seller?
Once you have found a suitable vehicle, a viewing appointment is scheduled. This usually takes place during the day at the dealer’s premises or at the private seller’s home. It’s best to take an expert companion with you. If a private owner wants to meet in a remote parking lot at unusual times, one should at least be skeptical. That is why we strongly recommend a reputable dealer such as LA City Cars.
Why you should trust reputable dealers such as LA City Cars
Almost anything can be purchased online, even used automobiles. But be cautious about con artists attempting to sell cars they do not possess or own before you part with your hard-earned money. This is how the con operates: On portals for online sales and auctions, such as eBay Motors, thieves place listings for cheap used cars that they do not actually own. They offer to answer queries, exchange images, and have online chats. They can even claim that the transaction will pass through the buyer protection scheme of a reputable shop. Sellers have started requesting payment on eBay gift cards through fictitious invoices that seem to originate from eBay Motors in recent times. Calling the number on the invoice will put you through to a fraudster posing as an eBay Motors employee. Over the course of the last year alone, trusting consumers have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Which documents are important?
If there is a service booklet, it should be complete. Invoices for inspections or oil changes support the documentation of the service booklet. Mileage is also recorded in the service booklet. This way, you can check whether the specified speedometer reading is correct.
The condition of the interior can also provide clues about the speedometer reading. A shabby interior, for example, hardly suits low mileage. The test report from the last general inspection is also an important document. You can tell from this whether the vehicle passed the smog without any problems or only under certain conditions. You should confirm whether the vehicle owner completed any necessary repairs, if there were any.
In addition to the main key, there should also be a spare key and code cards for the vehicle.
Why should you take a test drive?
If you like the vehicle, you should take it for a test drive, provided the vehicle is registered and insured. During the test drive, you should drive a balanced mix of city traffic and highways in order to get a good feel for the car and possible weak points.
If the seller tries to avoid certain routes or distract from using electronic features in the car, caution is advised. If you are unsure whether the vehicle is in technically good condition, we recommend having a used car check carried out by an automobile club or a testing organization.
How do I complete the purchase?
If the buyer and seller agree, a contract still needs to be concluded. The purchase contract should contain a binding guarantee of the mileage that “corresponds to the actual mileage” instead of “as far as known” or “according to the previous owner”. The next step is to get the California certificates of title.
If you have reached an agreement with a private provider, it helps to use a standard contract such as that provided by automobile clubs or insurance companies. In addition to the exact details of the buyer and seller, the exact condition of the vehicle is described and recorded here, and payment is regulated. These detailed statements will help if there are discrepancies or even disputes after the purchase.