Beginners Guide to Buying A Used Car in Ghana
We all want to buy a car someday, whether new or used. But mostly, buying a used car is not just as easy as it sounds.
Regardless of whether you’re purchasing from a qualified vendor or a private vendor, there are different safety measures you should take when purchasing a used vehicle.
Not avoiding potential risk and doing the entirety of the necessary planning and checks could cost you a ton in repairs, time and exertion.
This article is going to serve as a beginner’s guide to buying a used car in Ghana and giving you a guarantee of recognizing what you’re getting and what value you ought to pay for the car.
What Should You Look Out For When Buying A Used Car?
The things you should look out for when buying a used car in Ghana is to do your research and follow the points raised below:
- Perform a history check on the vehicle
- Test the Seller’s Knowledge
- Have a Look at the Registration Documents
- Get a good view of the car
- Check for the value of the car
- Check the tyres
- Check the car’s trunk (“boot”)
- Have a test drive
- Have a mechanic inspect it
Now let’s break the points down.
Perform a history check on the vehicle
Many people in Ghana and all other parts of the world do not find vehicle history check an important step to take when purchasing a used vehicle. After all, the most important thing is that you get the vehicle you want.
Meanwhile, a car history check is actually one of the most vital steps you take when buying a used car. This check is going to show you whether the car has recorded an accident or has been reported stolen.
You can also find out whether the car has an outstanding financial record in the form of collateral or Auto loan.
Most of the information you will get from the car history check will not be told by the person selling the car.
Test the Seller’s Knowledge
After doing a background vehicle check and finding out that the car has a clean record, you can then proceed to test the seller’s knowledge. This is where you find out whether the seller truly knows what he/she is selling to you.
You need to ensure that the seller knows the features of the vehicle exactly the way it is at the time of purchase. Should in case, the driver finds it hard to tell you the features of the car, then it could be a sign that the seller stole the car and has no idea about it.
If the information he/she (the seller) provides is not reason enough, you can decide to stop with the deal and try someone else’s.
Have a Look at the Registration Documents
As a buyer, you need to ask the seller for the registration documents of the car in order to verify whether the car was legally allowed to be on the road or not.
When you receive the registration documents, you need to check whether they have stamps and seals on them before you agree to it. All car registration documents should be issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).
In a situation where you feel doubtful about the documents, you can visit any of the DVLA offices together with the seller to verify whether the documents are genuine or not.
Get a good view of the car
If possible, let the car be on a balanced surface and get a good view of it. During the viewing, you need to check the exterior and interior parts of the car.
The viewing should be at a public place and should be done during the daytime with a fine weather condition (I recommend sunshine and between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm).
Check the locks for any variations or any sign of forced entry. A variation in the locks could mean that the car has been broken into before or has been stolen.
The main reason for viewing at daytime is that it will give you a clear vision of the car as compared to the darkness of the night. Rain can also hide certain defects, scratches and dents.
Check for the value of the car
Knowing whether you are getting a good car for your money could be difficult sometimes, especially when you have little or no idea about the car’s market.
The value of a car simply means how much the car worth in terms of money; and how it’s sold by other sellers in the specific geographical area.
Most sellers try to play smart on buyers who have little or no market value idea of the car. In such cases, they try to mention prices which do not correspond to the average market value of the car.
Therefore knowing the value of that particular car puts you up on the game and helps to bargain on a price when buying your car.
Check the tyres
The condition of the tyres is one important thing you should check when buying a used car. You need to check for the tread depth and side-wall damage.
The tyre tread should be worn evenly, the uneven tread of a few tyres often means poor alignment which could, in turn, affect the brake.
A car with poor alignment is also likely to pull sideways (left or right) when driving.
Check the car’s trunk (“boot”)
When checking the trunk, you need to check whether it opens and closes easily without any struggle and check the inside for any damage or rust.
Serious damage like serious rust could affect the general performance of the car.
Have a test drive
When doing the test drive, you need to focus on the sound of the car; check for any squeaking or odd sound especially, in the brakes.
Also, check the dashboard whether the warning signs are off or on display. If possible, drive on different types of roads to see how it works. Some cars may perform differently on different roads. The test drive shouldn’t last less than an hour and also focus on the steering.
Have a mechanic inspect it
Bringing in a mechanic is very important because a mechanic may be able to detect some faults that you will not be able to detect yourself. Though the mechanic may charge you, it is better for an expert to inspect and give you his/her opinion on the car.
The mechanic will also check for leaks for you as well. After the inspection, you can now feel better knowing that the car is a good or bad one to buy.
Finally, you need to relax when buying the car. Take your time, research on the car before buying it and just not rush into it.
According to research over 20% of used car buyers waste more money on the used cars than what they would have spent if they bought a new car. This is because of the poor planning before purchasing the car.
I hope this article serves its purpose and please be aware that these are not the only measures there also other measures as well.