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Many car buyers have varied reasons for choosing secondhand cars but the overall one is that used cars are cheap. On the other hand, new cars are usually expensive and as a rule of thumb, they have a high rate of depreciation as they age faster. However, this does not mean that you should always buy used. Be careful when buying a second hand car! Prudence dictates that you seek to know the age of the car that you are about to buy. That will help you determine how long you can get useful service from the used auto.
Ask the seller
One of the ideas that click the mind of the buyer when in need of information related to the age of the car under sale is asking the seller. Why not? Good faith binds them to provide every detail of the car on sale. However, considering that the seller has a stake in the transaction, sometimes buyers fear that sellers are not providing the entire information. This therefore begs an alternative to knowing this sought after information.
Check the V5C registration document
The V5C registration document shows details of the registered keeper of the vehicle. Usually, the registered keeper is not the legal owner of the vehicle under consideration. The customer can easily find the undisclosed details of the vehicle under sale by simply contacting the previous keepers. It is important to note that previous keepers have no vested interest in the transaction and that their disclosures will be highly reliable in such circumstances.
Checking the mileage
Vehicles have odometer installations that record the mileage covered. This means that newer vehicles may have lower mileage recorded on their odometers compared to older vehicles. Unless the odometer has been clocked, the buyer should be able to tell the age of the vehicle by just reading the recorded mileage. As a rule of thumb, the odometer records a yearly mileage of 10,000 miles on average. The recorded mileage should be consistent with the age of the car under consideration.
Checking the maintenance history
Some maintenance necessities are age related. Usually they have a replacement interval based on time of use. For instance, replacement of cam belts, exhaust system and painting are based on interval and age of the vehicle. Whenever the maintenance history indicates that such replacements were carried out more often, it is a signal that the vehicle has really aged.
Whenever you spot rust on the vehicle, you should simply walk away. This is a sign that the car is really old. As a rule, most vehicles of 15 years and below are unlikely to have rust on them.
Checking the model of the vehicle
It is easy to tell the age of the vehicle by reading the time when the model was manufactured. For instance, a 2002 Pontiac Sun fire and a 2006 Audi A4 TFSI sedan indicate when the vehicle was new.
You can use these and other tips to know the age of the car you would like to buy. You will know the fair value of the car based on its pricing.