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Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Pre-owned Car

Buying the car of your dreams is exciting. It can also be a bit daunting, especially when you are not familiar with cars or the process of purchasing them. It can even be more challenging when you are buying a pre-owned car.

Pre-owned Car ABCs

When you’re in the market for a new set of wheels but do not really want to shell out big bucks for it, pre-owned cars would be the perfect solution. There is a selection of pre-owned units available and you can choose any make, model, size, color or features that you need.

There are certified pre-owned cars straight from the dealer, or you can shop around at an established multi-brand pre-owned car showroom. Some opt for the latter as it gives them a wider selection of units at the price and package that is most favorable to their requirements.

Shopping for a car is indeed exciting. For newbie car buyers, however, the sheer volume of available units can sometimes be overwhelming. To make the purchase process easier and more rewarding, here are some questions to ask yourself. The accompanying top tips will guide you along the way:

1. What do I want?

It might be too obvious a question, but some can get so caught up in the excitement of choosing from a garage full of cars that they forget this basic step.

First and foremost, you need to assess your specific needs and wants. What will you be using the vehicle for: personal use or business? How often will you use it? Will you be traversing city roads or will it be used for country trails? These questions will be very useful in leading you to the car that will best suit your needs.

Of course, you will most probably have a wish list — the nice-to-haves. Would you like leather or power seats? How about extra features such as cruise control, park assist, or a digital touch screen center console? These would be the features that might get cut from the final decision, usually depending on the budget.

From the number of seats to specific features, knowing what you want and need in car can help narrow down the necessities.

2. How much am I willing to spend?

Another detail you need to know is how much money you are willing to shell out. Whether you are cash-strapped or simply want to be prudent with your car purchase, a budget will also be helpful in your purchase decision.

You should also consider other financial aspects such as loans, insurance, and maintenance costs. Which car will fit your financial situation? Will you be able to sustain owning this or that type of car with the money you have? These questions will help ground you and save you from buying a model that turns out to be way above your limit.

3. Where should I buy?

Buyers beware! When buying a pre-owned car, you should only conduct business with legitimate dealers. Steer clear of shady salesmen who might offer you a used car with all the bells and whistles plus discounts and freebies galore, only to find out that you have been handed the short end of the stick.

It is always prudent to go to a certified pre-owned car dealer or company when buying used cars. This way, you are assured that you are doing business with an established organization that has had years of experience and expertise in buying and selling pre-owned vehicles.

4. What is the condition of the car?

Don’t go into the deal blindly. However flashy and fabulous the car may seem on the outside, it is still best to do a thorough check of the car that you are planning to buy. While most reputable companies conduct a pre-purchase inspection, there might still be a chance that some details may have fallen through the cracks.

Also, always request to test-drive the car. This way, you will be able to get a feel of being behind the wheel of a particular vehicle. More importantly, you will have first-hand experience in observing how the vehicle performs on the road. It is important for you to get a personal take on the ride and feel of the car.

5. What other services can I get?

Take into consideration as well what other complementary services you can get from the same dealer. Do they offer in-house car services? How about 24/7 roadside assistance? Do they have financing and insurance facilities?

It would be ideal if the pre-owned car you are buying, and the services that you need to enjoy its ownership, will all be available under one roof. Aside from the ease and convenience it brings, you are also assured that you will be talking to just one company who can address your car needs.

Drive Away Happy

When purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, take time to ask yourself the above-mentioned questions first. It is always better to be safe than sorry. By properly weeding away the unnecessary things and avoiding pitfalls, you can be sure to drive away in the best car for your unique needs and preferences.

AUTHOR BIO: Mahesh Rohra is the Director of Arabian Automobiles LLC - AW Rostamani Automotive Group, a trailblazer in the automotive fraternity with a legacy of over 50 years. AUTOTRUST by AW Rostamani is the largest automotive multi-brand one-stop shop in the UAE where you can buy and sell quality pre-owned cars.