Buying a car in South Africa is a major financial commitment. With gradual increases in values in the new car market, many consumers are steering towards buying second hand cars from used car markets, whether from private car sellers or dealerships who sell used cars.

In today’s Modern Age, buying a used car can be seamless or it can be like driving through a minefield. Many car buyers fear being swindled when making a used car purchase. This is mainly due to whispering stories of scams and unreliable car valuation offers, especially if buying from dealers buying used cars. The problem with buying from a private seller is not only an issue of getting ripped off your dream car but also safety risks. It’s much safer to buy from a classifieds portal, where you could get to know the buyer before buying from them. Classifieds also have the advantage of having a wide variety of vehicles available, from used Toyotas to sound like sand rail for sale. But let’s focus on the major issue at hand in this space and time – buying a second-hand car without getting ripped off.

Being ripped off and exposed to scams is caused by not following the correct procedure when buying a used car. There are various factors to consider and a few things one should do, before sealing the deal for a second hand vehicle. Clear your head, do some transparent thinking and research, before making any hasty decisions.

Make your car buying experience pleasant and follow CarZar’s roadmap to not getting ripped off.

Know your budget: Stick to what you need; even if it’s just a cheap car to get you from A to B and not D.
Read up on forums: Forums are a great way to see what car experts are saying about the used car and possible issues with the second hand. People on forums could also offer you better deals.
Do some research: Know every detail about the car model, to ensure that the seller is not flogging a car with missing parts. Research will also enlighten you about the vehicle’s price range.
Do not always believe the word, ‘Certified’: Only specific car companies have a broad certification process – Mercedes, Honda and Toyota. A lot of dealerships use the same list, whether it is certified or not.
Test the owner: Ask the car seller questions about the car’s maintenance history.
Get a mechanic to inspect the car: Let the experts inspect your ‘soon-to-be’ used car, to give you a piece of mind about the car’s worthiness. They will also be able to calculate any extra reconditioning costs that you might have to budget for, once you get the car.
Test drive the car: Test driving the used vehicle is a good way to discover the car’s true condition on the road.
Do not spend on financing: Do not finance through dealers. Most banks offer a better rate. Or just simply save until you can afford to buy a used car.
Complete the paperwork: If you are buying from a dealer, review the sales contract and complete a warranty form. If you are buying from a private seller, ensure that the car registration is transferred to you – get the Yellow Form and NATIS from the seller. Avoid after-sale hassles.
Visit used-car auctions: Buying a used car from an auction will save you more money than buying the same model and year, from a dealer or private seller.
Do not make hasty purchases: Be more conscience about the car’s detail and condition, than about ‘want’. Avoid wasting cash on a car with possible issues.

If you want to buy a second hand car but struggling to figure out which model would suit your traveling needs perfectly, find out on the car horoscope – ZARoscope – to find out which car best matches your zodiac sign.

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