How to pick a great used car

If you’re thinking of buying a car then one of the first questions that comes to mind is whether to buy it new or used. While that shiny new car offers the security of mechanical soundness and the very latest features you may be tempted by the cheaper price of a used car and the promise of saving money.

A quality used car can be a very good choice and there are thousands of well-serviced, well-maintained vehicles to choose from, but how do you ensure the car of your dreams doesn’t turn into a nightmare on wheels?

Second hand vehicle buying checklist

Well a good place to start is to do a bit of homework on the car you’re considering. We have put together a second hand vehicle buying checklist along with a few other tips so you have peace of mind when leasing a used car.

If you’re buying from a dealer make sure you find out what’s included in the price, which may not include the licence or transfer fees.

Give the used car a thorough inspection

So you’ve found a likely car. What’s next? Well the first thing to look out for is a good service record which should give you an excellent guide not just to its past, but to any upcoming expenses, such as timing belt replacements.

But don’t stop there. Check for signs of rust or welding marks which may indicate it’s been in a crash, then check under the bonnet for oil leaks. Look around under the oil filler cap for a tell tale white substance which might indicate expensive head gasket damage.

Next inspect the tyres for wear, especially uneven wear. Then take a close look at the panels. Do they have nice even gaps? If not, that may indicate crash damage. Try starting the car from cold and lookout for excessive smoke or poor starting.

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If all that sounds a bit scary to you then leave it to the experts – get an independent mechanic to check it out for you, a move that’s guaranteed to give you some peace of mind.

What is the vehicles history?

One easy but important step is to check out the car’s history through It’s a straight-forward way of finding out whether its been stolen, has finance owing or has been written off in an accident.

The ins and outs of car warranties

Warranties on cars are getting longer, with some manufacturers now offering, five, six and even seven-year warranties with unlimited kilometres if you buy a Kia. It’s quite possible to buy a used car which still has quite some time to run on its new car warranty, a potential boon for today’s used car buyer. Dealers love selling extended parts and labour warranties, but it’s definitely worth the trouble to check out exactly what’s included and what’s not in that warranty – some of them are just not worth the hassle that goes with them.

Can I buy a used car on a novated lease?

If you’re in the market for a used car then it makes sense to speak to the novated lease experts here at Fleetcare to learn about the tax advantages and other benefits that come with a Fleetcare novated lease. So pick up the phone and talk to us today about a novated lease before you go hunting for that great used car bargain.

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