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Avoid unpleasant surprises when buying a car

Take your time when you study the content of the sales contract for the car you want. It’s not just the small print that requires a lot of attention. Technical knowledge is often required when buying a used car in traverse city. So that your journey doesn’t end right back in the workshop, we have put together a checklist for inspecting the traverse city used car.

Used car checklist

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Checklist for the precise examination of the used car

Before you decide to buy a vehicle, you should carefully examine the car

  • The “sticker check” does not replace a purchase test! Contact one of the motorist clubs and have a purchase test carried out .
  • Obvious damage and defects (scratches, cracks in the windshield or headlights, dents) are also purchased.
  • Question conversions such as spoilers , lowering etc. and have the existing typification confirmed.
  • View service booklet and type certificate! In this way you can find out the correct number of previous owners and understand whether the mileage is plausible. The service book should also show that the timing belt has been changed. The operating instructions provide information on when the timing belt should be changed at the latest. Attention! In most cases, a timing belt change does not only depend on the mileage (approx. 70,000 – 120,000 km) but also on the age of the timing belt (often a maximum of 5 years!).
  • Traces of paint on seals indicate accident repairs. Neuralgic points are also the transitions from one body part to the other (transitions between the spar, wheel arch, …). Unequal or incorrect gap dimensions indicate extensive preliminary repairs.
  • Signs of wear on the steering wheel, pedals and cranks, but also on the seats, can indicate high mileage.
  • Thick sub-floor layers can mask the desolate condition of the sub-floor.
  • In year of the tire so watch the attached on the tire sidewall DOT number (mit gekauften tires): The first two digits indicate the week of the year, the third represents the last digit of the year (from 2000 two final digits) eg 1204, production in the 12th Calendar week of 2004. Although the tire industry considers tires to be new tires for up to 5 years (if stored appropriately), motorists’ clubs point out that new tires are no longer suitable after 3 years (hardening). A German court ruling comprehensively judges a 2 year and 4 month old tire as no longer new, especially since a “new tire buyer” always assumes that he is buying the latest tire technology.
  • Check the oil level and water tank (radiator expansion tank) as well as the brake fluid level and the servo fluid.
  • Test drive If you are informed that you do not have comprehensive insurance, an accident during a test drive can be very expensive. Dealers often have appropriate certificates signed. In many cases, however, comprehensive insurance with different deductibles will also be available. If there is no notification at all, you can assume that you have comprehensive insurance. Pay attention to whether the car pulls to one side or makes abnormal operating noises or vibrations.
  • Don’t forget to look into the engine compartment and under the car. Loss of fluid can herald expensive repairs. Also check (note in the engine compartment) when the last oil change was made and what mileage was noted.
  • Odometer manipulation If the odometer reading on a vehicle is corrected downwards without indicating this change when it is resold , a higher purchase price achieved as a result will result in a criminal conviction. Such changes are often difficult to prove, but they can be proven. Buyers who are primarily concerned with the correctness of the odometer reading should therefore declare the mileage (see page 3 under the section “Oral assurance”) as a reason for buying.

Purchase contract

Contracts are to be adhered to . There is no general free right of withdrawal from contracts. In the automotive industry, a cancellation option is usually offered as a “contractual penalty” against payment of 10 percent of the purchase price.

No salesperson has to give you this option.

Condition classes determine the scope of the warranty.

Most used car traverse city sales contracts have condition classes. A sample sales contract recommended by the Association for Consumer Information is also  often used. The condition classes from 1-4 describe the condition in which the car can be.

The most common condition classes:

  1. new or very good condition
  2. good condition (no repairs or maintenance required)
  3. Sufficiently ready to drive (kilometer and age-normal repair and maintenance work required)
  4. not ready to drive (major repairs are necessary, even if the “sticker” is still valid)

The condition classes are divided into the mechanical condition , the body , the paint and the interior.

Anyone who buys a car with condition class 3 is buying a repair and service cost that is normal for its age and kilometer. The car must be safe to drive and operate, but a timing belt change may be imminent. This makes an originally cheap offer considerably more expensive (between 400 and 1400 euros!).

In many cases it is possible to agree with the seller that the purchase depends on a positive purchase review or that any defects found are rectified.

Verbal assurances must be confirmed in writing (on the contract) (e.g. freedom from accidents, mileage, free withdrawal if the purchase price cannot be financed). In any case, have circumstances that are decisive for the purchase (e.g. mileage, freedom from accidents) guaranteed!