5 things you should know before buying a pre-owned car in UAE

Here's what the experts say.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, September 30, 2018

For most new motorists, buying a new car can be near-impossible. There's no doubt that a new car is convenient and you won't have to worry about the vehicle breaking down, but they are often too expensive for a beginner-driver to afford. Some showrooms around Dubai do have economy cars (i.e: compacts) commanding prices from Dh50,000 and above.

That being said, many opt to purchase a pre-owned or second-hand vehicle instead, because they are cheaper. According to data provided by Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSaftyUAE (RSU), 78.1 per cent of UAE residents claim they would consider buying a second-hand car.

Buying a pre-owned or a used car is cheaper than getting a new one but it has some disadvantages - primarily on the condition of the vehicle and how it was treated by its previous owner. So how do you know for sure that what you're buying is worth it?

Here are some tips.

Crunch the numbers

According to Edelmann, buyers must get the pre-owned vehicle's history. It's imperative to get the vehicle inspected by a mechanic. Buyers must also do some research on its market value and consider its resale value. The car's chassis, engine and VIN numbers must tally with the car's documents.

It's all in the looks

Right off the gate, you need to look at how the car looks! Check for any dents, scratches and dings. All these could be used to drive the price a little lower since most dents cost a fortune to repair. Apart from the bodywork, also examine the tyres and brakes. All four tyres must not be worn down. They should be of the same brand.
For more on that, check out this YouTube video.

Go under the hood

All of these tips work well if you bring a certified mechanic with you. You'll want to check on the mechanics of the car. Does the chassis have any rust? Does the engine leak any fluids?

Edelmann adds: 'If you spot black smoke then this means that the engine is running 'rich' (taking on too much fuel). If you see blue smoke then this means the engine is burning oil. If you spot either of these, walk away!'

You'll also want to check on the fluids such as oil and water and have a mechanic take a look at the cam-belt.

Step inside, have a seat

Are the seats damaged? Refurbished? Does the radio work? How about the lights and turn signals? How many kilometres is it on the clock? Does it match with the documents? Play around with all the switches inside the car and see if all of them work. Stay there for five minutes to see if the A/C works properly enough to survive the heat of Dubai.

Go for a spin

Checking the car down to its bare molecules is nice, but at the end of the day, the test drive is where it's at. Apart from checking for strange sounds and smooth gear changes, you get a feel for how the car drives. If you are comfortable with driving it then you can start negotiating bearing in mind all the knowledge you have after having the car checked. If not, then there's always a lot of cars being sold in the UAE, Buzzon.is a good place to start looking!

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