A lot of parents will be worried about purchasing a used car, particularly if it’s going to be the vehicle that they chauffeur their kids around in. This is understandable as there are certainly nightmares that you can experience when you buy a used vehicle. For instance, some nasty sellers on the market will buy a totalled car. They’ll fix it up to the point where it will just about be road legal and sell it as a bargain. This brings us to our first piece of advice buying a used car and staying safe.
If It Seems Too Good To Be True, It Is
Simply put if you want to stay savvy buying a used car on the market, you need to be realistic. For instance, a car that is ten years old and has a ridiculously low mileage must have a problem with it. Either the mileage isn’t accurate, the car is only used through the summer months, or it has enough problems that it’s impossible to keep it on the roads. If a car does have a low mileage, the next aspect to look at is a number of owners. A large number of owners will usually point to it being a problem vehicle in need of several expensive repairs.
Search Far And Wide
Unfortunately, there are a lot of buyers selling used cars on the market, and they aren’t all interested in making sure that you get a safe car for the road. That’s why you need to look at different sellers and companies. Don’t be put off by sellers that are far from your location either. There are plenty of services like Shiply that will make the transportation cost easily affordable and simple to handle.
Things You Can See
Hopefully, you’ll be going to see a car that you’re going to purchase second-hand. Otherwise, there’s really no way to tell whether it’s actually safe. When you do go and see it, there are a few different points to check for. First, look at the parts that have been replaced. If the car looks old, but parts like the gear stick, the pedals, and the steering wheel have all been replaced, the car has seen a lot of wear and tear. Get the owner to leave the car running for several minutes and then check underneath where it has been parked. Any signs of a liquid point to a leak that will definitely mean the car is not safe to drive. Weird smells may also be a factor to consider, and you should certainly complete the bounce test. Put the car in park and bounce gently on the front. It should only go up and down once or twice. More than this and there is an issue with the suspension.
However, the most dangerous sign to watch out for is a problem with the steering alignment. If the steering leans one way, you’ll constantly be fighting it when driving. This will make the vehicle far more dangerous to drive than other vehicles on the road.
Take this advice, and you will be able to make the safe choice when purchasing a used car for your family.
Therese has completed the ‘Advanced Child Car Seat Training Course’ at TRL (Transport Research Lab) and is a CPD accredited car seat expert. She blogs about in-car safety, car seats, tips, reviews, giveaways and advice. She’s a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breastfeeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.