What should you know before buying a second-handed car?

A second-handed car which is still in good condition is a proper choice for people who want to buy a car with a limited budget. For those who have never known how to choose the right second-handed car, you should not miss this article.

Step 1: Set a desired budget

The most important thing before purchasing a second-handed car is setting the budget that complies with your financial status. You can search for cars according to your budget. For example, if your budget is 370,000 baht, you can get a loan at 2,500-3,00 for 5-7 years based on your monthly expenses.

How to calculate the total loan amount based on your income?

  • Make sure that the car’s price does not exceed your annual income.
  • The installment payment should be at least 15% of your monthly income. Make sure that you get the desired car based on your salary. To make life easier, you can use a helper to calculate the loan to manage your budget correctly.

Step 2: Survey a second-handed car every platform online and check their credibility

Nowadays, you can search for every information by one touch. No need to go to the second-handed car to check the car anymore because there are many online platforms for second-handed car sale. Surveying and collecting information from online platforms will make your decision worthwhile. In addition, you can set “filters” that comply with your budget and preference on online platforms, so you can make a decision more easily. 

You should check the credibility of the platforms before purchasing via that platform.

Step 3: Check the car’s age

The same as the budget step, the limit for the car age is one of the important things that you should know. For example, you can choose many types of cars under the budget of 500,000 baht. If you have set the limit for the car’s age, you can set the filters to narrow your choice down. (such as the car not over 5 years)

Step 4: Check the accumulated mileage of a car

Normally, if the accumulated mileage of a car affects the car’s price. You should choose a low to medium  accumulated mileage to make you feel more confident in the quality of the car. A low or medium accumulated mileage car will likely have the same quality as the new one, but it is dependent on the age of the car as well. The high accumulated mileage at a young age is better than an old car with low accumulated mileage because the components in the car will deteriorate over time no matter how far they drive.

Step 5: Check car’s history

Check the car’s history before purchasing. The cars with a lower price than other cars in the market often have a hidden background. Do a background check about the car you wanted whether it once was in a big accident, modified, flooded or how many times the owners of it has changed. This information affects long-term maintenance. Try to avoid being deceived by only outer look of the car

Step 6: Save the car maintenance schedule

A second-handed car which always gets maintenance as scheduled indicates the well condition of the car. If possible, you should look for the vehicle owners who are attending the service at the service center of that brand. These service centers will have accurate records of all services to the car. This maintenance information is especially useful when you want to know in-depth information about the used car you want to buy, whether it’s related to components, or significant damage to the engine and other parts of the car

Step 7: Check the exterior and interior of the car.

Check for dent marks, bump marks or defects both inside and outside of the desired car. If the car you want has these problems, you might be the one who has to deal with it and fix it. The best thing to do is negotiate for a discount. If you found the defects that the old owner did not want to fix, remember that the fixing expenses will be on you.

Step 8: Check the other parts of the car for good condition.

Here’s a list of things you should be careful about when checking all the additional parts of the car.

  • High and low lights, fog lights, and emergency lights.
  • AC
  • A car horn
  • Radio player and CD player or touch screen
  • Car door handles and trunk hoods
  • Electric mirror switch, side view mirror
  • A 2.4V socket or a candlestick.
  • Gas station tanks, hoods and trunk
  • Seat belts and seat adjustments.
  • Tires cover and toolbox.
  • Control Panel Status Lights

Step 9: Check the engine condition of the car

Once you are satisfied with the exterior and interior of the vehicle, the next step is to check the engine. If you are not familiar with the vehicle’s engine, especially in technical matters, ask a trusted mechanic for help. Just by listening to the engine, they can know what’s wrong and can give you proper advice about the car you want to buy. However, if you want to do it yourself, here are some tips you can follow.

  • Check for oil leakage
  • To check the boiler condition, open the top lid to check the turbidity of the boiler.
  • Check the connecting cable for damage or disconnection.
  • Make sure that no components are loose, or damaged.
  • Check engine oil.

Step 10: Always do the driving test for every cars

No matter where you buy a used car, whether it’s from a dealer or a car owner, you have every right to do a driving test before you make a decision. The driving test will give you the highest satisfaction and help you decide whether you want to buy the car. What you need to do when you test the car is as follows:

  • Test the car brake, check if there is any strange noise between the brakes.
  • Test the steering wheel during a turn (sharp bend or regular turn). Be careful of strange noises when you turn.
  • Drive in rough terrain to check the wheels, bottom and gear.
  • Drive at different speeds to test the engine
  • Make sure that the vehicle’s gears move smoothly, whether automatic or manual.

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