Buying a car can be an exciting time. The thrill of looking for a car, test driving it and finally choosing one is a process that everyone should experience and enjoy. It’s your chance to check how different cars drive and imagine the potential of having one of them. Although this is a fun time in your life, it’s best to check certain facets of the vehicle, especially when it comes to second hand cars.

Here are a few checkpoints that you need to consider when buying a second hand car.

Check the whole body or chassis. Take a walk around the car that you are interested in and check for any marks, scratches and scuffs. If there are any scratches on the body of the car and you are willing to accept it (perhaps it’s not so visible) you can negotiate with the seller for a better price. If there are visible dents then that might not be a good sign. The vehicle has probably been in an accident or two which means that there could be more hidden damage and more problems down the road.

Check the engine. Open the hood of the car and look at the engine. Even to an untrained eye, an overworked or damaged engine is recognisable. Look whether the engine is clean and if there is not much grease over the car parts. Also, look whether all the cables are connected properly and there are no leakages. You should also look underneath the car to see if there are any leaks. If the engine is clean, there are no leaks and is in good condition then you can tick this on your list.

Check the interior of the vehicle. This is less serious than the other checkpoints but it’s an important part of the car. You will be spending a lot time inside the car so it needs to look good. Have a look to see whether the seats, steering wheel, dashboard and overall interior are in good condition.

Check driving and handling. Take the car for a test drive. Feel how it handles and whether you are satisfied with the driving capability of the car. Also listen for any unusual knocks or bumps while driving. This might be an indication of a faulty part that needs to be replaced. Depending on the part, it could be costly.

Check the wheels and tyres. If you are buying a car, it should be in good condition and so should the wheels and tyres. Have the tyres recently been replaced? Is the tyre tread still good? Check there are no punctures in the tyres. Is the wheel alignment correct or is there any understeer or oversteer that needs to be corrected? Are you getting the car with new mag wheels or would you need to invest in these when you buy the car?

These are a few checkpoints and list of questions you need ask the seller when buying a second hand car.

A1 Wheel and Tyre is a private family owned and operated company specialising in the warehouse and distribution of wheels and tyres to the automotive fitment trade. The company has a well established operation in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Visit our website for details and images of our mag wheel range.