The process of buying a car whether new or used is a good feeling that leaves the buyer in high spirits and satisfied.
However, this initial excitement and satisfaction may turn into regrets when the car falls below the expectation of the buyer. To prevent this painful experience, being armed with the right information does the trick.
Golden State residents gather here as this article provides tested steps that would guide you into selecting the best and optimal performing used cars in Cali. Keep reading to find these tips.
Tips on buying a fault-free used car in California
It is important to note that whether you are buying from a private seller or an Auto dealership in California these tips would come in handy.
1. Obtain a Vehicle History Report
As a transcript shows the academic performance and history of students, so does a vehicle history report show all necessary information about a car’s performance, maintenance history, and other details.
To obtain a comprehensive vehicle report, you would need to get the vehicle’s VIN( Vehicle Identification Number) or the 7-digit Cali plate number. Upon getting either of these numbers, you can either decide to use a VIN decoder provided by most auto dealerships like Epicvin or a California license plate lookup.
Once these alphanumeric characters are input into the decoder or Cali license plates lookup details like mileage, prior usage, repairs, accidents or criminal history can be readily accessed.
Failure to do a thorough search may make you end up with a stolen vehicle, a car connected with criminal activities, or a scrappy and faulty wheel drive.
2. Test drive the car
You never know until you’d try. Most Cali auto dealers in a bid to quickly dispose of their array of used cars romanticize the condition of the car to lure unsuspecting buyers.
One way to beat them at their game is to take the car for a test drive. During the drive ensure you are vigilant and sensitive. Watch out for any smell, sound, or condition which looks abnormal.
To make the test drive easier watch out for areas like the brakes, air conditioner, doors, engine, wheel bearings, tires, and other components. Do not leave anything to chance.
3. Request the services of a professional mechanic
This procedure is important because faults or signs which are often ignored or unnoticed by the buyer can be easily picked on by the mechanic.
Before you close the deal, you need to request the diagnostic service of a mechanic in your locality in California.
The need for this tip arises when you are buying a used car ‘ as it is. Why? Cars that are tagged ‘as it is’ are more prone to exhibit mechanical problems since repairs are not carried out on them unlike CPOs ( Certified pre-owned vehicles).
With the aid of a mechanic, well-disguised faults that would later manifest as something serious can be easily spotted. And once this occurs, there is only one option: walking away.
4. Price consciousness and awareness of Terms & conditions
Before you walk into a dealership you should conduct sufficient research and detailed inquiries into various standard prices of the used automobile you want to buy. The reason why this tip is often repeated is that having a solid financial knowledge of your used car choice strengthens your negotiating power and tilts the imaginary pricing scale in your favor.
Many experts advise that before you commence bargaining, having a maximum price in your mind speeds up your decision process. How? This is because, during the negotiation process, any price quoted by the auto dealership which is inconsistent with the financial estimation from your research is likely inflated.
Also do not be swayed by offers of periodic payments as most of the time you would have to pay more than the original price of the car. Rather your focus should be on the total value of the used car.
Furthermore, focus on important financial details like extended warranties, insurance, and loan packages.
5. Be legally aware
Sometimes the difference between a satisfied used car buyer and an unsatisfied one is that the former was aware of legal reliefs available to him.
For instance, by Californian lemon laws, you are authorized to return a used car under warranty if several attempts have been made to rectify these defects.
It is important to state that this warranty may either be from the original car manufacturer or dealer.
Regardless of whomever it is from, the lemon law only applies based on some conditions like:
- Your used vehicle must be under 18 years
- Your total mileage must not be more than 18,000 miles
- The manufacturer must have made 2 or more attempts to repair this defect that may culminate in death or serious injuries.
- If the problems are not caused by your actions and alterations.
If you can successfully prove these requirements, you can file a claim with the court to recover your money and get a car replacement and compensatory damages.
Another legal protection for buyers in California is that you can return a used car after 2 days. However, the used car must be below $40,000 and this cancellation becomes effective by purchasing an insurance policy.
Finally, the importance of buying from a trusted auto dealership within your environs can’t be overemphasized. If possible, ask your friends, colleagues, or acquaintances to make referrals rather than trusting in reviews from sites which most times are doctored and paid for.
Regardless of where you are purchasing your used car from in California, you must be thorough in making your purchase decisions. One hack is to pay full attention even to the tiniest of details. And this is because the slightest noise might be a pre-indicator of future mechanic shop trips to come.
Also, ensure you fulfill after-purchase steps like complete transfer of title if you are buying from a private seller. With these measures in place, your purchase experience is on track to be thrilling, productive, and satisfactory.