Getting your first car or any car at that is always an enterprise. By this, I mean that it will take some doing for you to get the car that you really want. Below are some of the tips to get you the car that is for you and not a headache instead.
This part would include the WHY you need a car. Ask yourself these questions for this. Is it going to be all purpose? Will it be just for me or the entire family? Would it be used for off-roading? Is it going to be my daily drive to work? Answering the why will let you focus on the next steps and will shape and dictate the size and capacity of the vehicle you are looking for. Another one that is included in the “research” part is taking a good look at the paperwork of the car, does everything match? VIN numbers, serial numbers, and chassis number should match the vehicle and the paperwork.
Furthermore, this is also where you do a VIN check and a ppsr check. This is to find out whether the vehicle has been involved in an accident or had some repairs are done (VIN check) and if there are any encumbrances on the car (PPSR). The government maintains databases on these. Download a used car checklist online for you to print out and to tick when you are with the vehicle “in the metal”. This list will keep you focused and be objective and not be swept away by the chrome so to speak. From here, you can also approximate the going rate of the vehicle and avoid getting one that is overpriced. Join forums on social media and online for that specific car that you are eyeing. Common problems will be revealed by doing so.
Physical Assessment and the Test Drive
This is where that checklist will come in handy. Get a mechanic friend to go with you to the car lot. If you do not have any mechanic friends, hire the services of one. This is essential in our book of getting that good quality car that you want. Tick all the tick boxes in the downloaded checklist and get behind the wheel, this is a requirement. There are so many cases of people not even test driving the car if it is comfortable or not. Ensure that you test it above 60mph and pay particular attention to the steering alignment, brakes, Air Conditioning, and if all lights are working properly. Ensure that the mechanic is with you when you do this. He can listen to the engine and isolate sounds that should not be there.