Owning a car helps you avoid some level of stress in a commercial hub like Lagos and a good example is how it helps you adhere to social distancing compared to using public transportation during a pandemic trigged by the coronavirus outbreak.
However, buying a used car after a lockdown requires drawing up a list of priorities such as your budget, functionality and the durability of the car. Here are 8 tips designed to help you make more informed decisions before you buy that used car during or right after a lockdown
1. You Can Shop For Used Cars Online
Rather than inconvenience yourself or put yourself through the risk of physically moving from one dealership to another, you can do that on your mobile phone or PC.
If you spend time online, you will find trusted car dealers in Nigeria that you can buy your foreign used or locally used car from
2. Lock Down Your Budget
Even if you have all the money in the world, you still need to spell out what your budget for the car is. Truth is that you’re buying a used car because you are trying to save some money else you would have settled for a new car.
Before you even call up any car dealer, ensure that you already have a budget you are working with. This will help you buy a car within your budget rather than impulsively picking a car with a price tag that can come back to haunt you later.
3. Go With a Trusted Mechanic
No matter how cool a car looks or how vibrant it sounds, you need to have it inspected in the company of a trusted mechanic or service centre expert.
You might not know precisely what to look out for in a used car but an experienced mechanic would. You shouldn’t expect a car dealer to point out every single mechanical problem that a car you are about to buy has. That would amount to shooting himself/herself in the foot.
4. Carry Out a VIN Check
Let’s start with what a VIN is – A VIN is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle.
A VIN check is designed to help you check a car’s history. It is also known as a Vehicle History Check/Report and it’s supremely important to do a VIN check before you buy a foreign used car.
You should consider reaching out to car experts at Cheki.com.ng to help you with this.
5. Find Out If the Car Still Has a Service Plan/Warranty
A car with an active service plan ensures that you don’t have to worry about the money required for servicing your car the next time it is due for its scheduled service.
The same goes for a warranty. If you buy a used car that still has an active warranty. Extended warranty for cars are great for car buyers who need extra coverage or might struggle to afford the expense of unexpected repairs.
You also need to find out if the service plan and warranty will expire if it hasn’t expired yet.
6. Is the Car Easy or Difficult to Maintain
The easier a car is to maintain, the better option it becomes for you to buy. You don’t want to buy a car that you’d have to leave at the mechanic’s workshop because of the huge cost of maintaining or repairing it.
7. Are the Car’s Parts Readily Available
The truth is that the parts of some car brands are more readily available than others. For instance, you can’t just rush off and buy yourself a ‘Dacia’ car because it looks good or because its shape appeals to you.
You need to find out if the car’s replacement parts can be sourced locally. This is crucial because the moment you need to source for the parts of a vehicle you like from overseas, you could find yourself struggling to keep the car on the road.
8. Consider Demo Models
Demo car models also fall into the category of used cars and there are two things that make them such an exciting option for you – They are well priced and they usually have low mileage as they are almost new.
Final Thoughts on Buying a Used Car After Lockdown
Remember to ask for the car’s paperwork and service record if it is a foreign used car. This will give you a peek into how well it was cared for by its previous owner(s).
We should mention here that the fact that a car has a roadworthy certificate does not mean that it is devoid of problems. Rather, it simply means that the car meets the minimum safety requirements. Please, bear this in mind as you shop for your used car.