before buying a car

Whether out of necessity or simply for fun, changing cars has become common and easy these days, as the used car market is growing. But this ease can have setbacks and a poorly thought out or too quick purchase can have serious consequences.

A few usual checks will limit the risks, especially if you are buying from an individual. Here are the 6 steps not to be overlooked.

Compare Ads

If you have set your sights on a particular model, try as much as possible to compare several advertisements offering a similar vehicle . Be aware that a vehicle sold at an abnormally low price may conceal a trap.

Unfortunately, the ease provided by multimedia means leaves the door open to scams of all kinds. Take the opportunity to compare the standard equipment : some models can be much better equipped for a similar price.

To read: The 5 traps in which not to fall when selling a used car

Advice :

Don’t stop at the first ad. In addition, a vehicle equipped with options such as air conditioning for example will be resold more easily if necessary.

Contact the seller and ask questions

If you are interested in a vehicle, start by contacting the seller. Ask for details concerning the maintenance of the car, its actual mileage , the number of previous owners, as well as the origin.

If the seller does not respond or provides unclear explanations, move on to the next listing. A serious seller must be able to inform you precisely about the condition and the follow-up of his car , whether it is a private individual or a professional.

Good to know :

Vehicles from abroad may have, as standard, different options from French vehicles. In some countries, the odometer readings can be reduced, especially on large cars. Be careful.

Make an appointment with the seller to see the car

Never buy a vehicle without first seeing and testing it. If you are talking to a professional, know that there is a difference between a dealer, a garage and a car dealer . The dealer is attached to a brand, the garage generally has a small multi-brand fleet and can offer you the maintenance of your future car. The merchant generally has a larger fleet, but be aware that he only sells.

Whoever you are talking to, go to their place to make sure that the vehicle is indeed available, visible, and that it corresponds to the description given in the ad.

A seller, individual or professional who offers you an appointment elsewhere than at his place of work or his home may want to hide something. Avoid this kind of appointment, especially at the end of the day , when the light is decreasing.

Check administrative and technical documents

It is important, first of all, to check that all the documents relating to the vehicle are available and up to date. Ask to see the registration certificate (gray card) and remember to check that the seller is the owner. Ask to see the MOT report . It will allow you to check the general condition of the car.

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