Official statistics revealed that car-related financial scams are on the rise, recording up to RM5.4mil losses between January and May this year. The used car market is of no exception and can be a minefield of traps for the unwary customers. Thus, used car buyers and sellers must equip themselves with some basic car knowledge to deal with confidence and protect themselves from any potential hoodwinks out there.
Here are 8 tips to protect yourself when buying or selling used cars.
When Buying a Car
#1 Understand the Value of the Car
Before you go on a car-hunting journey, you should be conscious of your budget and how much you should be paying for it. It is not difficult – you may check a car’s market value based on make, model, and year of manufacture. Alternatively, you can check with an insurance company to determine the value of your car’s premium, which is a good place to start.
#2 Check the Car’s Paperwork
The first thing to check on a used car is its paperwork – the inspection report, service records, and other documents are testament that the vehicle is well taken care of. If the documents are present, you can be sure that the previous owner cared for and maintained the car well.
Another thing you don’t want to miss is the chassis number and engine number to ensure you’re buying a used car from a legitimate source. These two numbers should match the number shown on the car title.
#3 Inspect the Car
While motor vehicle inspection is a technical discipline, non-mechanically inclined customers can perform simple checks to avoid getting ripped off.
A simple but crucial check you must do is to see any accident damage to the chassis. Eyes on the chassis and check if the body panels line up with each other on both the left and right sides as well as if the paint matches. The reason is that realigning, welding back, and repainting a smashed chassis is extremely difficult and can be costly.
#4 See the Car in Person
It’s preferable that one sees the actual vehicle in person and test drive it before you make a purchase. If the seller is cagey about letting you test drive the car, it’s a red flag that there may be something wrong with the vehicle. Carsome, the largest and leading used car platform in Southeast Asia, strives to provide a transparent service whereby consumers can always request a test drive after browsing for a car online.
You can spot any mechanical maladies when the vehicle is running by test-driving a car. As always, ensure that the car runs well, the gear shifts smoothly, and all the electrics and buttons work.
#5 Beware of Hidden Fees
There could be an unwanted surprise of hidden fees once you agree to purchase the car, and sometimes the difference between the advertised price and actual price can be huge. These ‘fees’ include insurance and paperwork processing fees. To be fair, the paperwork involved in the transaction can be tedious if it’s your first time doing it. But still, do not succumb if you think the price is unjustifiable.
When Selling a Car
#1 Know the True Value of Your Car
Knowing how much you can expect to sell your car for is already half the battle won. Similar to buying a car, you can check the market value of your vehicle by referring to the valuation of insurance companies. This way, you can avoid getting lowballed or getting suckered into a sale that’s too good to be true.
Alternatively, you can book a quick inspection with Carsome, where skilled inspectors will conduct a 175-point check before letting you know the market value of your car.
#2 Know Your Car’s Condition
Our cars can sometimes develop faults that we are not aware of. Common hidden faults include worn suspension, engine components, or a failing gearbox. By knowing your car’s condition, you can avoid getting ripped off by buyers who may lie about imaginary faults to drive the price down.
That said, it won’t go wrong to get it checked by a trusted vehicle inspector offered by platforms such as Carsome, which provides a free inspection service. If you do check out other outlets for an inspection, it may come with a cost of a few hundred ringgit.
#3 Have All Documents Ready
Having all important documents organised beforehand can speed up the transaction significantly. Make sure to compile pertinent documents such as transfer of ownership, insurance policies, and an accurate car maintenance record – to assure the buyer that the vehicle is in good shape.
Buying or Selling a Car doesn’t have to be Daunting
For the best peace of mind against the minefields when dealing with used car transactions, choose a trusted online platform that provides you with the following support:
- Transparent, seamless, and convenient services including professional inspection and handling of paperwork
- Fixed price with no hidden fees
- 1-year warranty coverage
- 5-day money-back guarantee
- Professional inspection service to determine a fixed best price for your vehicle
- Handling of paperwork
- Fast payment within 1 hour*
Learn more about the hassle-free car buying or selling journey on Carsome today.