Don’t judge a car by the pictures you see online…

If you’re in the market for buying a new car, and have chosen to do your browsing and shopping online, it’s a good idea to do your research properly, and to ask the right questions before making any purchases.

There are tonnes of scams out there, and buying a car doesn’t come cheap, so make sure you’re not buying a car that’s going to give you more hassle than it’s worth, and don’t just judge a car by the pictures.

Once you have a car that you like in mind, get someone you trust, who knows cars well, to come with you for a test drive. It’s also a good idea to have the car checked by an accredited testing centre like DEKRA.

Further to this, here are 10 important questions to ask during the online car buying process…

Questions to ask in advance:

  1. What is the mileage? This helps you determine a value before viewing the car.
  2. Is the price relative to the mileage as well as the year model. You can call your local dealer to get their expert opinion on what the car should sell for.
  3. Does the seller describe the condition of the car? You want it to be in very good condition or mint condition.
  4. Has the vehicle been in any accidents? This connects to the previous question, and if yes you might want to give the car a skip or bargain the price down.

Questions to ask when looking at the car:

  1. Where/from whom did you buy this car? The best would be if the seller is the original owner of the car.
  2. Can I test drive the car? Never buy a used car without a test drive. No reputable seller will deny you a test drive.
  3. Can I inspect the car independently? Any hesitation on the part of the seller should set of warning bells in your head. The only answer you want to hear is, “Sure, no problem.” Remember you are buying the car, you have the money- so you have the power.
  4. Has the vehicle had all the required maintenance and is it up to date? The seller should have the required documents to show you that the vehicle’s maintenance is up to date. See if the car was serviced per the requirements of the warranty. Ask for the full service history.
  5. Can I have my mechanic do an inspection? If you know nothing about cars, and you are a bit unsure it may be wise to have a professional check the car out.
  6. If this the best deal I could find? Do not get ahead of yourself and over excited. Take your time. Cars go on sale daily so there is no need to rush. This is a big decision so make sure it is the right one for you.