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Buying a second hand car

Considering a Used Car or second hand vehicle? Before buying pre owned automobile, consider your affordability, and start with a monthly budget. A general rule of thumb -don't exceed 25 % of your gross salary. With the CPA in mind, consider all costs, including car insurance, as well as maintenance costs before buying a used vehicle or second hand car, such as wear and tear. You can buy a used or second hand vehicle, without a deposit; though ideally you want have a ten percent saved or more to bring the monthly repayments' on your used car down on the second vehicle you're purchasing. Ideally you want to purchase a pre owned car, with a solid warranty or one you can purchase a warranty for. As with any used cars for sale, always make allowances for unplanned maintenance issues, and ensure that you have available cash or facilities for any unplanned eventualities.

Does the pre owned car for sale meet my current needs?

Vehicles, and especially used cars, are hugely personality driven. Best to decide on what's a need, then secondly on what the wants .Even if you have a used automobile or motor car in mind, consider all car brands, the features they offer, and how best it suits your financial needs. Also consider that, at various times, different vehicle dealers or car dealerships have specials on various used cars respectively. Also consider that the bulk of the car sellers, as well as later cars, have little differentiation in respect of the warranty terms they offer on second hand cars. Search sites such as,, for a comparative analysis of the various used and new car offerings. This site offers ways to search for used cars using a variety of search tools. Buying a used car is also more affordable than buying a car with a balloon payment. What is a balloon payment? A balloon payment, or residual payment, is a payment paid only at the end of the loan period and you continue to pay interest on it. This amount is usually 40% of the purchase price and is unadvisable for first-time car buyers and anyone who cannot afford to pay the lump sum at the end of the load contract.

Find me a car with ideal conditions

Used Car pricing, Is dependant, on a number of factors-The market value (or retail price) for used vehicles is based on their year model, condition and mileage. Popularity and availability are contributing factors. More popular used cars are generally sold at a premium in South Africa, as these used vehicles are sold quickly and are usually overpriced. Second hand cars typically represent an opportunity to buy a car or bakkie for a discount to the new car price, and to also buy up, and get a car with more bells and whistles! So consider all car brands, and test-driving a car, as well as car reviews, should be the final factor, in finding your ideal used vehicle. So you've got a short list of used cars you're interested in buying, now what? Once you have narrowed the list to 3 second hand cars, view their specs, on the view function on the used cars for sale page. Remember requesting a test drive, with our network of approved second hand car dealers is simply a click away.

So you've got a short list of used cars you're interested in buying, now what? Once you have narrowed the list to 3 cars, view their specs, on the view function on the used cars for sale page. Remember requesting a test-drive, with our network of approved used car dealers is simply a click away.

Choosing the right Used Car

Although not always as expensive, buying a used car can be as daunting and confusing a prospect as buying a new car, and the cost in the long run could far outweigh that of a new car. You still have to consider the cost and type of car, but now face the potential pitfalls of used cars is it legitimate, roadworthy and reliable where do I buy a used car?

Below is a list of tips to help you when buying a used car:

  • Decide on a budget and make sure you stick to it. It should include the cost of insurance, fuel, licensing, tolls and servicing.
  • Decide what type of car you want. You need to consider what you will be using it for- transporting children, pets, and driving long distances regularly or for leisure use.
  • Decide how you are going to finance the cost of the car a personal loan is one option for this type of purchase. It may be best to arrange finance before going any further, as you will then be forced to stick to your budget, and allows you more strength, when negotiating.
  • Shop around look on the internet to get an idea of types of car and what the current prices are. Online car sites like, specialize in used car sales.
  • Used car dealers (you have more rights and safeguards here than with buying privately) take time to look around a variety of these and be prepared for possible hard sell techniques!
  • Always view cars in good light if it is dark or dull this is likely to hide faults.
  • Taking along another person may be a good idea they may be able to spot what you miss, also preferably someone with mechanical knowledge
  • For private sales, view the car at the sellers' home rather than let them bring it to you. It lets you see where the car is coming from.
  • Check all the documents carefully this could save you any future headaches. Look in the log book and ensure the name there matches that of the seller (for private sales). Check service history and records, Roadworthy certificate (for vehicles over 3yrs old) and any receipts for repairs or maintenance.
  • Make sure all the dates add up/make sense.
  • Organize an independent inspection this often pays for itself as it can pick up any potentially serious or costly problems. The AA and others offer these, as do many other motoring organizations.
  • Get an HPI check this is very worthwhile as it identifies any stolen, written off or cloned vehicles.
  • Take a test drive for all cars you are interested in buying. This should be at least 15 minutes over a variety of different road surfaces. It allows you to decide if the car is comfortable and whether it handles well. Make sure the car is taxed and you are insured to drive it. Listen for any bumps, rattles or squeaks that could be indicative of a problem.
  • Walk around the car and methodically check it.
  • Be prepared to haggle over the price, and do not buy impulsively. It is often worth mentioning that you have been looking on the internet and are aware of current prices.

DIY Car Inspection

This may be helpful to take with you to ensure you don't forget anything.

Bodywork Rust

  • Look on the inner wings, bulkhead, cross members and chassis members under the bonnet. If you find any it is best to walk away from the car.
  • Under Car check the side sills, chassis legs, cross members and subframes. If you think there may be a problem, lightly tap the area with a small hammer or push hard with your hand. If it gives way easily there may be weakened metal.
  • Check the floor for corrosion.
  • Ensure that brake pipes are not crusted with rust
  • Check suspension and steering mounts.


  • Check the oil if it is very black the car has not been regularly or recently serviced. If it is beige and thick there may be a head gasket leak
  • Check coolant ensure it is not red and rusty looking.
  • Listen to the engine start up from cold ensure there is no black/blue smoke coming from the exhaust. The oil light should go out quickly, and there should not be any knocking or rattling noises.
  • The vehicle should idle smoothly with no revving, pinking (tinny rattling) or misfiring.

Test Drive

  • The car should go into gear easily, with no crunching or slipping. Check for slipping by driving up- hill in top gear.
  • If it is an automatic check the dipstick for fluid levels, and if it smells burnt it is best to avoid the vehicle.
  • Ensure the vehicle handles well its steering is responsive and not wobbly or pulling to one side.
  • The brakes should work quickly and easily the pedal should be resistant and not go all the way down to the floor. There should be no juddering when the brakes are applied, and the vehicle should not swerve to one side.
  • Check the tyres ensure they all have sufficient tread, and there is no cracking.
  • Look at the odometer if the numbers are out of line this could indicate clocking.
  • Be aware of the general condition of the vehicle and whether this reflects its mileage.
  • Look under the carpet between the front and back doors are there any signs of welding, as this could indicate that 2 halves have been joined together and the vehicle is then very dangerous.

Remember if you still have doubts or concerns at this stage it is better to walk away from the vehicle and look for something else.