Mistakes you must avoid while buying a used car

It is important for you to test drive the car you are trying to buy. It helps you understand it better. PHOTO BY ALEX ESAGALA.

Unless you are a high roller, the decision to buy a car is never spontaneous. It takes years of planning.
Many people draw a wish list and go ahead to research on to find the right car that is within their budget.
Unfortunately despite all this, many people will neglect the simplest processes that would deliver them the perfect ride.
They get cheated at the bond, driving away with inferior cars that are costly in the long run.
However, how can you save yourself from falling for less?

Never overshoot your budget
Lillian Kakembo had Shs21m that she had saved over time. However, she ended up buying a car of Shs25m on the understanding that she would pay the Shs4m debt in the subsequent months.
This is one mistake many people make, forgetting that they had a budget in the first place.
Because more than 98 per cent of cars in Uganda are second hand, they need immediate checks after they have been bought, according to Ivan Kyeyune, a mechanic on Rubaga Road.
Therefore, ensure that you have money to check or replace some parts such as timing belts, water pumps, brake pads, tyres and battery, among others.

Do enough homework
Researching about the car you want to buy is paramount because it helps you to understand the pros and cons of the car.
For instance, according to Kyeyune, car content is plenty and so available online.
Therefore, he says, make use of the internet or a mechanic to get information on any type of car that fits your needs.
Car buyers, he advises, must take particular interest, especially in regard to resale value, spare parts availability and fuel consumption, among others.

Don’t buy on impulse
Because your decisions come without foresight, they will lack information, which might lead you into buying a car that you might never need.

Buy a car need
According to Kyeyune, many people buy cars they do not need because they fail to determine what kind of car fits their lifestyles and needs.
For instance, he says, it is useless to buy a salon car yet you would do well with a pickup truck at your carpentry store or farm. Fuel economy is also important and if you worry over what you spend, then avoid buying a fuel guzzler.

Search extensively
People often spend time in bonds that are only conveniently located near them.
However, while buying a car, you need to be patient if you want to get what is best for you.
Good things come if you maintain a certain degree of patience and research. Move around different bonds and car sales point if you want the best. You also need to ask around from your circles.

Test drive the car you intend to buy
Many people will start the engine believing they are testing the car. Granted, the smooth start-up of an engine with zero hesitation says a thing or two about the engine condition but it never tells the whole story.
Drive around and then you will have a better feel of the whole car.
Test driving also includes checking under the hood either by yourself or a trusted mechanic. All this helps you to know exactly what you are buying.

Ownership period
Thinking through the time you will want to own the car is necessary. Ask questions including how long you plan to own the car.
This is where the resale value comes. Otherwise, if you intend to own the car for a short period of time, then be sure to consider the car’s resale value.
Avoid instances where the car will become a burden when you want to sell it.

Be willing to walk away

Prepare ahead of time and don’t let emotions suck you in. Be ready to walk away when something seems off.
The rule of thumb is to know that the best time to buy a car is when you are ready.
Ready can be subjective but consideration of the above with a reasonable level of confidence and comfort is good enough.