Same advice in some cases, especially wrt salesdroids apply here. See this thread : Buying a new car?
Set your budget. It helps to visit your bank/credit union and see what you qualify for. Don’t borrow too much, or more that you can afford, a budget’s there for a reason. Play around with amounts and repayment periods to suit you.
We found that after 4 years the interest will just push the repayments up and up…
Keep in mind that you will have to add a little bit extra for new tyres, windscreens and other small repairs should it come to that.
Take the car for a test drive. If unsure, have a trusted mechanic present, or take the car (with the owner’s permission) to a test centre and get the low-down on the car.
Too many faults? Back out.
Major engine problems? Back out.
Little things? (Blown headlight or kaputtes wiper blade) - DIY
Keep in mind that usually the aircon’s not up to standard, and will cost a literal arm, leg and two kidneys to replace/fix. Usually not worth it, but if you can live without an aircon, then this should be no biggie.
Also, keep in mind that is most cases the vehicle is sold “as is”. If you’ve got a lemon, tough. No warranties at all.
(Yes, I know, but I had to say it )
If there’s funny stuff with the car’s registration papers, walk away, it is NOT worth the hassle. (Oh, the papers are with $person in $state and other funny stuff like that)(Ages ago we were looking at an extra small car, we had this exact same situation, car’s registration papers was in another city. I just walked away).
Check the VIN and engine number. Funny stuff? Walk away.
Oh, check the central locking, and airbags (if any) If the airbags have been deployed, it will cost more to replace than what it’s worth. Usually best to walk away. Central locking can be sorted out in some cases.