Five Things to Know When Purchasing a Car From a Private Seller

Buying first car

For most South Africans graduates who have started their careers, purchasing a car is one of the first things they aspire to own. Wanting to purchase your own vehicle is understandable,  adding to your fairly new independence and freedom.

Whether you need a car for work, school drop-offs and collections, or for running errands, having a vehicle makes things easier. Taking public transport can be a daunting thing to do which is why so many people are opting for purchasing their own cars.

Although purchasing a brand new vehicle is expensive,  there are alternatives to owning your dream car. For example, you can purchase a second-hand vehicle from a car dealer or private seller, as they make it easier for people to own affordable and reliable vehicles.

But for a first-time buyer, choosing the right vehicle can become a daunting task. Here is a guideline on what you need to know when you’re purchasing a second-hand vehicle privately.

Think about the cost

Few people have the ability to purchase a car even a second-hand vehicle without financing. Many people need financial assistance in order for them to afford to purchase a car. There are many financing options for first-time car buyers who are in need of car finance.

You can either get financing that comes with a balloon payment, which allows you to pay smaller monthly installments during your term. When you get to the last month of your agreement you are then required to pay off the lump sum.

The alternative would be to have a higher monthly payment without a lump sum at the end. If you’re not planning on having a balloon payment, saving money to put down a sizeable deposit would be the best thing you could do for your long-term financial future.

Putting down a deposit isn’t compulsory, but a deposit will lower your monthly installment allowing you to pay off your debt faster. If you’re getting money from a lender, make sure you’re pre-approved first before going to a buyer. Being pre-approved for finance will also help you choose the right vehicle for your budget since you will know what your loan allows.

Do your research

Before buying a second hand it is vital that you do not jump into making a decision too soon. This is your first car so you need to find one that you like, is safe to drive, and which suits your budget. While researching, always keep your options open – just because you’ve seen a vehicle that you’re interested in, doesn’t mean you should purchase it right away.

There are many mistakes people do when purchasing a vehicle, make sure you avoid them. Shop around too if there are other private sellers who are selling the car you’re interested in.

Once you find alternative options, look at the price the vehicle is going for and whether it is actually worth it and if you can negotiate a lower price. Knowledge is power, so filter the latest motor news and find out everything you need to know about the car you’re thinking of buying.

Have a list of questions

Whenever you plan on buying a second-hand item, it’s crucial that you ask the seller important questions. Even more so if you’re planning on buying a vehicle that is expensive, since you don’t want to find yourself stuck with a car that always needs to be fixing. When you ask the seller the right questions, it shows you a clearer indication of the condition of the vehicle is.

Take the car for a test drive

Whether purchasing from a car dealer or privately, it’s always vital that you take a drive around with the car. You will have some sort of idea on the condition of the vehicle as sometimes sellers can be dishonest.

Even though a vehicle isn’t an investment, you still need to find a vehicle that can last you for the long term. Make sure you pay attention to how smoothly the vehicle runs and if there are any clattering and worrying sounds. Once you have test driven the vehicle, inform the seller that you would like to have a private inspection done for the vehicle. If the seller declines or seems reluctant, this could be a sign that they’re being dishonest.

Get car insurance

So many people drive their cars around without any sort of vehicle cover. Some people may argue that you don’t need cover if you’re a perfect driver. But, you’re not the only driver on the road. There are many reckless drivers and it’s important that you cover yourself so that you can be prepared for any unseen problems that could happen.

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