9 Tips for buying a used car after lockdown in South Africa

Buying a second-hand vehicle is the only option for countless consumers these days, particularly as companies slash jobs and salaries in the wake of Covid-19. With this in mind, here are 9 top tips to consider when tyre-kicking after lockdown.

Advice
16. Jun 2020
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9 Tips for buying a used car after lockdown in South Africa

Buying a second-hand vehicle is the only option for countless consumers these days, particularly as companies slash jobs and salaries in the wake of Covid-19.

You might not be interested in engines, brakes, tyres, bodywork and other mechanical aspects, but value for money and practicality, and to some extent, durability are sure to be high on your list.

Some of us will still want a vehicle based on a feeling; you might love the TV ad, the shape of the car, or the range of paint colours. You don't have to put your motoring dreams on hold in these challenging times if you shop sensibly and with a good budget that you can afford.

With this in mind, here are a few top tips to consider when tyre-kicking after lockdown:

1) If you don’t have the time or inclination to go around and look for a vehicle, spend some time online as all brands and dealers are represented. 

2) Decide how much you can afford to spend before you start looking. If needed, get a pre-approved loan from a bank.

3) Often mechanical problems are not disclosed when buying a used car, so obviously it’s important to find a trusted dealer that will reveal the vehicle’s history and divulge any potential problems. You can also consider using services from TransUnion to assess a vehicle's ownership history and value or try sites like Auction.co.za, that offer test-drives and inspects all vehicles up for auction.

4) Find out if the vehicle still has a service plan and warranty and when both will expire.

5) The vehicle with the cheapest maintenance basket is, arguably, your best bet. Locally, check out the Kinsey report or if you want an international opinion, JD Power reveals real insights from real car owners.

6) Find out if replacement parts can be sourced locally. If the vehicle you like needs parts from overseas, it can get expensive.

7) Look at acquiring a demo model as these cars are usually well priced and have low mileage as they are almost new.

8) Ask for the car’s paperwork and service record as this will also give you some idea of the car’s history and how well it has been cared for.

9) Be aware that a roadworthy certificate isn’t a guarantee that the car is problem-free. It simply means that the car meets the minimum safety requirements.

While we'll all be looking for ways to reduce our mobility costs in the coming months, you can still drive a decent vehicle if you shop sensibly.

 

IOL