A car has to be not only comfortable, but above all safe. Its purchase must be very well thought out. It is worth preparing in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises later on.
The first thing that should be done even before the actual purchase process is to determine the budget that we have. This is very important to be able to even start looking for the right car.
While second-hand cars already have a specific price, in the showroom we can be surprised. In advertisements we are tempted by price “from 39 900 PLN”, and in practice it turns out that we have to pay much more if we want to adjust to our requirements engine power, additional navigation, better radio or different paint. All this costs money and then the amount can go up by thousands.
So the wisest thing to do is to set an absolute limit – whether you have the cash, borrow money from someone close to you or take out a loan. This is a very good start.
Buying a car is a serious matter that many of us try on for a long time. After determining the budget, it is time to determine our requirements. Do we want a small, typical city car, which will be easy to park everywhere, or maybe a bigger one, accommodating a lot of things or a completely large, family and spacious one?
Hatchback, station wagon or maybe SUV? On top of that there is also our preferred brand, driving comfort, technology, any extras and of course color. This one for many can be very important.
>> See: Preparing a car for sale!
It is also worth trying out several models beforehand. It so happens that initially we want a completely different car than the one we end up buying. Test drive is a very good idea and it is better not to resign from it.
Buying a car in the showroom is simpler. Here you do not have to worry about mileage or accident rate (although there are some damages caused during transport from the manufacturer, which we may not be aware of, so it is worth checking with a mechanic).
Questions to ask in this case include an analysis of the cost of the car itself and the chosen equipment (what we pay for, what we have in the price, what will be the cost of such and such equipment), as well as the warranty (its duration, possible extension and the scope it covers) and insurance.
The situation is more complicated if we decide to buy a used car. Then there are many more questions. It is important whether the car was registered in Poland (then we will avoid additional fees) and how many owners it had (the fewer, the better; the fact of a long break in use should alarm – then it may turn out that either there is an expensive fault to repair, or the car is simply expensive to maintain).
Then the history of the car. The technical condition is a key issue. The car should be checked in daylight, when it is not raining or snowing. So that you can check everything, and even better take it to an independent workshop, which will do a thorough inspection (an honest seller will have no problem with it).
What we should ask is what repairs were done, when was the timing changed, oil, all filters, brake pads, V-belt. It is good if the owner has a service book or receipts confirming the transactions. You still need to check electric windows, mirrors, air conditioning or sunroof, navigation, sound system, electric auxiliary brake. In fact, it is best to turn on and off everything you can.
It is also very important to know whether the car is accident-free (it is also best to verify this in a garage or on your own by checking the gaps in the body, the slats on the doors and fenders, traces of paint). It is good to have a paint meter, check for possible chips, corrosion.
There is still the matter of mileage of the car. This is a question that must be asked. Mileage “can be seen” by the condition of the gearbox, steering wheel, seats and pedals. Unfortunately, it is common practice to roll back the odometers to 130-150 thousand kilometers (we can confirm this on the Internet, when we have the VIN number).
Finally, we should ask about full equipment – whether it has a set of winter and summer tires, fire extinguisher, jack, radio. All this has an impact on the final price, which of course can be negotiated. How much is the seller able to come down from the price? This question should come up, because it is possible to negotiate a price lower by several thousand (too big reduction should alarm us, maybe for some reason he wants to get rid of this car quickly). It is also important to determine the form of settlement.