You’ve got money in your pocket and a need for a set of wheels but how do you go about finding and buying a used car in South Africa? The task requires a certain degree of patience and persistence to get the car you want, but the hard work is worth it when you drive away in your new (second-hand) car. Here’s how to find a used car and get a good deal without being ripped off.
1: Finding used car dealers
Be a little creative when it comes to looking for used cars for sale. You can try the main dealerships of second-hand cars, but also look online and in the local newspapers. If you want to widen your options, don’t restrict your search to cars for sale in the city where you live. You could check other cities to see what’s on offer – you’d have to travel to see the cars but you may find a deal that makes the journey worth it.
Give a little thought to the make and model of car you want. Deciding how you are going to use the car will make a difference to the vehicle you choose – for example driving in the country requires a sturdier, four-wheel-drive vehicle while small, fuel-efficient cars suit city driving. Give consideration to the cost and availability of parts in South Africa. You don’t want to buy a used car and be left stranded when you have to wait for parts to be delivered from abroad.
2: Checking the car for faults
As well as looking over the car and having it checked for faults, you should also carefully check the car sales documentation. Be careful not to buy a used car that is cheap but prone to breaking down within three months (unless you really have very little cash to spend and need something for three months….)
Check the overall appearance of the car, both inside and out. Check the bodywork as well as checking the upholstery and the car’s interior. In particular, look for any accident damage such as peeling paint, scratches, or dents. Next, start up the engine. Look over the quality of the gearbox and the clutch, the brakes and the suspension, the radiator and the cooling system, and the tyres plus the steering.
Check the mileage as well as the car’s condition when buying from cars.co.za
When you find a car you like, check the current price of this make and model vehicle by contacting a dealer or looking up the cost in a manual. Decide whether the price represents a good deal after checking the mileage along with the car’s condition. Ideally you will be able to test-drive the car, making sure you put the car into reverse and also test the car when making tight turns.
3: Buying a car as a foreigner
If you are a foreigner and are buying a car, then you can choose to pay for the car in cash, by credit card (some personal sellers won’t accept credit cards, however, and this method is the most challenging to carry out), or by international bank transfer. Dealers like cars.co.za also have monthly financing options for buying used cars.
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