Buying a used car
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Buying a used car? Avoid paying too much with these tips

These are the 10 best-used cars with a ton or more on the counter

The search for a good used car is now easier than ever. Thanks to online platforms such as you can compare thousands of cars in a transparent way. You get all the information and the car is also extensively shown. That is ideal for a first impression and you do not have to leave the house. The used car file on this site is also useful in the search. It contains buying advice for the most wanted used cars, including the pluses and minuses. 

2 Bring help for a better assessment

When the time has come to visit the seller and take a closer look at the intended car, it may be wise to ask someone to accompany you. Two people see more than one and perhaps there is someone in the family or circle of acquaintances with just a little more knowledge of cars. In addition, the salesman of a car quickly gives a less slick talk when he is dealing with two people. The two of you also have a stronger negotiating position. After all, you can consult and complement each other.

3 Always test drive and take your time

How do you know if a chair is in the right place? And whether the technology works without problems? Always take an extended test drive and don’t accept it if the seller offers just a ’round the clock’ ride. If the car has already warmed up, the seller has taken it for a spin shortly before the visit. You can question that. In your test drive, try all types of roads that you come across in the Netherlands, so also opt for worse road surfaces and the highway. If you regularly travel with children, make sure they are also passengers. And do you use a roof box, roof rack or bicycle carrier on your current car? Then check whether these also fit the possible new purchase.

4 Watch out for weird noises or driving abnormalities

During the test drive, make a few revs with the engine and pay attention to the engagement point of the brake and clutch pedals. Also pay attention to the correct functioning of the lighting, seat adjustment, electric windows, central locking, and windscreen wipers. 

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5 Be alert for damage

You don’t have to be a loss adjuster to see if a car has been damaged. Compare the cracks and seams between the sheet metal parts. A deviation can indicate a damage history. Use your eyes, but also your nose. If a car smells like a dog, that smell will probably always linger in it. Is there smoking in the car? Not tasty. If the car smells musty, this may indicate leakage and moisture in the interior.

6 Check the rubbers and fluids

Look at the tread depth of the tires (legal minimum 1.6 mm) and any hairline cracks. Also, that of the spare wheel, if fitted. If not, there should be a full repair kit. Be alert for oil traces under the car if it has been parked for a while. Also, check the engine compartment: green deposits on the cooling system can indicate a leak. Do you see any traces of oil leakage? Also turn on the air conditioning, if present. Really cool and fresh-smelling air should flow out there.

7 Immerse yourself in history

Check on the basis of the maintenance booklet what has happened to the car in the past: maintenance, repairs, MOT. Furthermore, any seller, even a private individual, can request a so-called counter report from the RDW. This way you can be sure that the counter has not been tampered with. A more comprehensive insight into a car’s past provides a CarFax report. CarFax obtains information about maintenance, repairs, damage, recalls, but also theft or damage from an international database. It also indicates whether a car has ever been imported or used as a rental car or taxi. On AutoTrack.nl  such a CarFax report can be viewed for free for more than 70 percent of the cars on offer.

8 Make sure you know exactly what is included in the purchase price

There is nothing more annoying than agreeing on a purchase price and then being confronted with additional costs. Taxes, delivery costs, ascription, or a full tank; shouldn’t be added afterward. Transparency characterizes an honest and reliable car company.

9 Stick to your budget

You determine the budget at home, not in the showroom. As a rule, there is more margin on more expensive cars, so a car seller or dealer benefits from pushing you, as a buyer, to a larger, younger, but above all more expensive car during the sales process. Be alert to that.

10 If you want a warranty, buy from a recognized car company

A private seller can usually not guarantee a car unless the sold car is still under the official manufacturer’s warranty. The better car companies often offer a warranty on used cars. Sometimes standard, when the car is young, sometimes for a fee. Warranty is actually a type of insurance. Do not just let any form of warranty smear you. Always ask yourself whether the costs outweigh the benefits. Some brands, such as Kia and Hyundai, provide an extra-long manufacturer’s warranty of up to more than 5 years. That makes such a car as an occasion extra interesting.

11 Check the details of a private seller

Is the seller actually the owner of the car to be sold and has he been so recently or for a long time? How many owners has the car had? That’s all interesting information. Check the vehicle identification number (VIN), which is also known as the chassis number, on the vehicle registration document. The vehicle may be registered as stolen. You can easily check this via the internet. Check the registration number via rdw.nl, print this data, and compare it with the vehicle and the registration papers or registration card.

12 A pre-purchase inspection can provide certainty

You can have a purchase inspection done for less than 100 euros. If you have any doubts, if the car is very expensive or if it is a classic car, such an inspection is not a bad idea. As a knowledgeable buyer, you probably see quite a lot in a used car, but for example, the internal wear of the engine is not visible. And something like that can ultimately cost the buyer a lot of money.