Home Lifestyle & Travel Travel Ten tips to help ensure you purchase a reliable car

Ten tips to help ensure you purchase a reliable car

If you need to travel a far distance to get to work daily, the mileage on your car will soon add up. If your vehicle is already nearing 10 years old, that added mileage might be reaching troublesome figures.

Upgrading your vehicle would be a wise decision at this stage.

A brand-new car would be first prize – let’s face it, everybody loves that new car smell, but reality may not allow for that.  A pre-owned vehicle can offer better value, while leaving your wallet intact.

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Purchasing a low mileage used car can be quite tricky, however Imperial Auto have put together these handy tips on how to determine the condition of the car you want to buy and get accurate information to make a good purchasing decision:

  1. When test driving, check handling, brakes, and look for any signs of mechanical problems such as overheating.
  2. Turn off the radio while you test drive, and check that there are no extraordinary knocking or rumbling sounds when you start it up.
  3. Check the interior for any obvious faults such as ripped material or leather. The wear on the rubber of the brake, clutch and accelerator should be consistent with the age of the car.
  4. Check that the battery terminals are clear of any build-up.
  5. Check for smoke from the exhaust – this may mean some sort of engine damage.
  6. Check that the body colour is even throughout the car; a change (even slight) may mean replacement body work has been done, and may indicate that the car was involved in a crash.
  7. Look for over spray on the inside of body panels, this may also indicate body work has been done.
  8. Check that the tyres are in a good condition, and if not, that replacements are both available and reasonably priced. Replacement tyres may be expensive so check prices beforehand to ensure that, if necessary, your budget will cover this.
  9. Tyres with uneven wear may indicate bigger problems, not easily resolved with tyre-alignment machines. Have this checked out before you buy.
  10. Always insist on 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. A big advantage of purchasing a used car through a dealer, is that they’re able to do history checks to ensure the car has not been stolen, or had any major accident damage.

Remember that a roadworthy certificate (RWC) is not a guarantee that the car is problem-free. It is a document that simply states that the car meets the minimum statutory requirements in terms of safety, such as brakes, suspension and lights. A car could have an RWC and still have a mechanical problem.

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