Buying a car, especially a used vehicle, is not something you should do on a whim – we know. While many get caught up in the fact that test driving is a “must” when it comes to picking out a car, we’re going to tell you that it is possible to buy a quality car without taking it out for a spin first.
However, this only rings true when you choose the right car, from the right dealer. But before we get into that, let’s talk about used cars.
What Should You Look for in a Used Car?
When it comes to buying a used car, you’ll probably need a closer look because it is a second-hand car which means there is definitely wear and tear. So, here are a few things you’ll need to look out for when picking out a used car.
- Mileage history: Cars with low to medium mileage are quite popular in the used car market because these cars have less wear and tear compared to cars with high mileage above 100,000km.
- Rust: Rust is known to dissolve away metal. In a car, it can be a major problem because the overall structure of a car is made almost entirely out of metal. So when it starts to dissolve, the safety of the car can be compromised as the steel that creates the crumple zone will diminish. You should look for rust under the doors of the frame rails, as well as inside the tire wells and exhaust.
- Under the hood: Check for any leakage of oils, damaged connection cables, worn out components and any cracks on the hoses and belts – these may pose problems in the future.
- Tires: Check the surface of the tire for any uneven tire wear as it might indicate severe alignment problems. However, tires can always be replaced.
- Audio system: Make sure the infotainment system, including the audio system, still works well. So, turn it on and listen for any muffled or dull sounds as that might indicate a spoiled system.
- Inspection and service report: At times, such as in Carsome, used cars undergo inspection before they are sold in the market. If possible, request for the inspection report to go through the nitty gritty details of the car. If you are well-versed with cars, you can easily identify any issues with the inspection report, but if not, you can always ask a friend to help you out. The inspection report would indicate if the used car has gone through any major overhauls as a result of accidents, fire, or flood damage. You can also check the service report to know the overall health of the car – if the car is serviced consistently according to schedule, it indicates the car is maintained well.
Virtual Appointments are the New Way of Buying Cars
As we navigate the new normal, almost every sector has turned to the virtual world to continue operations and with that, we saw the introduction of virtual appointments. Interestingly, this idea is not completely new. According to a 2011 New York Times report, many buyers adapted this trend of not viewing or test driving a car physically because they were accustomed to the idea of online shopping. In fact, 25 percent of people were comfortable buying a car without seeing it as stated in a survey conducted in the United Kingdom and Australia.
Of course, we’re not saying you should pick a car and check out your cart immediately, but these days virtual appointments have stepped up their game. In Carsome, our virtual consultants will tend to your request, including checking under the hood and turning on the engine.
So, if you are keen to book a virtual appointment with a car dealer, here is a list of things you should tick off during the virtual tour before you make your final decision.
- Make sure you have a stable internet connection: Because this is a virtual appointment, you may stumble upon bad connections which can affect the video quality. So, always set up your station prior to the call and make sure your internet connection is relatively stable. During the call itself, don’t be afraid to voice out if you cannot see the car parts clearly – you can always request for close-up pictures afterwards as well.
- Check the car’s exterior: The best view would have the car under plenty of light or daylight for you to properly see the car in good view so you can check the car’s body clearly. Don’t be turned off by minor scratches or wear and tear items as those are fixable. Instead, focus on items such as the body panels and lookout for uneven gaps as it can indicate the car has been in an accident. Make sure the consultant takes you up close to check for rust spots which are usually on the roof, wheel frame or in the engine bay. Other exterior elements to check include the tire, tire rims, bumper, mirrors, windows, car doors, hoods, bonnet, front light and rear lights.
- Check the interior: As we mentioned above, make sure you check the infotainment system. However, other elements you should view are the interior finishing, air conditioning system, windows, car locks, safety seatbelt, sunroof, moon roof, security alarms, carpet and any interior accessories. Also, check for any signs of stains or oxidization on the seats.
- Go underneath the hood: Under the hood is where you should check for dents or rust. If there are visible cracks in the hose or belts, this may cause problems as it can be costly to repair if they snap. Additionally, look out for dark stains on the engine, as well as any gel-like leakages under the engine oil filler cap as this can indicate water or coolant contamination.
- Check the engine: During the appointment, ask the sales consultant to turn on the engine and listen for sounds such as shrieking, grinding, metallic knocks, pings, tapping, clicking and ticking. Each noise may indicate a potential problem. For example, squeals under the hood may indicate a worn-out serpentine belt. If you hear one of these sounds, make sure to ask your consultant for an explanation.
- Under the car: Underneath the car is an equally important place to inspect. You should check out the car fluid, electrical system, transmission, suspension, cooling system, exhaust system, brakes and alignment.
- Request for the service report: Ask for the complete service report from the owner, dealer or sales consultant. This report will show you how often the car was serviced and if it the servicing was done consistently on time.
Go Virtual with Carsome & ‘Test Own’ a Car Today
The new normal has certainly given us new avenues to explore when it comes to our wants and needs – we’ve become reliant on online services, while e-commerce transactions in Malaysia are projected to reach a whopping US$5.540million this year. Carsome is no different in its business goals with the introduction of virtual car viewing appointments, where you can ‘Test Own’ a car.
‘Test Own’ is the new way of buying cars where you can set up a video call appointment with us to view the car. You can schedule a the appointment on our website and a Carsome Sales Advisor will bring you on a video tour around your used car of choice. The advisor will attend to any queries or requests you might have. So, don’t forget to check the car’s interior, exterior, under the hood and underneath the car (as we’ve prepped you with the tips above!).
If you decide to purchase the car, the Carsome Sales Advisor will handle the paperwork and arrange for a home delivery. Once the car is delivered, you can ‘Test Own’ it which is essentially testing it out at the comfort of your own surroundings. If you decide that you don’t like it, you can return it within five days for a full refund – no questions asked.
Remember to check the the inspection report in the Carsome listing – another key tip we have is to always check out our 175-point inspection report before you go on your virtual appointment. The full inspection report is listed below each Carsome listing on the website. There, it details everything in the interior, exterior, underbody and the road test. With this, you can jot down notes for your queries during your virtual video appointment. There are also close-up shots on the listing, so just take note of any items you want to view in real-time during your video call.
We Promise You Quality with Carsome Certified Cars
First, what are Carsome Certified cars? All Carsome Certified cars have passed our strict 175-point inspection to make sure it is free of major accidents, frame or flood damage. Besides that, Carsome Certified cars are reconditioned to ensure they are in a roadworthy shape for you.
Additionally, to make sure our customers are fully satisfied with their purchase, Carsome Certified cars also come with a Carsome Promise.
The Carsome Promise is our assurance for you to have total piece of mind in your purchase. In fact, the five-day money-back guarantee is part of our Carsome Promise to make it safer for you to buy a car without having to leave your home!
The Carsome Promise is made up of these offers:
- Five-day money-back guarantee: If you buy a used car from Carsome and you happen not to like it, you can return it back to us within five days to get your full amount back. No questions asked!
- Professional inspection: All Carsome cars go through an inspection that covers 175 points to ensure it is free from major accidents, frame, fire, and flood damage.
- One-year warranty: Our journey with you does not stop after you buy a car. We will give you a one-year warranty to ensure your vehicle is well-maintained.
- All-inclusive price: The price you see on the listing is the actual price, full price of the car with absolutely no hidden fees. We practice full transparency in our cost to ensure you know exactly what you are getting.
‘Test Own’ is the Future
With great initiatives and policies such as the Carsome Promise, you don’t have to worry about buying a used car without physically seeing it, especially because you can ‘Test Own’ the car and have a safety net of the five-day money-back guarantee – so, if you don’t like the car after purchasing it, you can just return it to us!
We want to make it safe for you to buy the car you have been wanting, while also making sure you drive a quality assured car. So, check out Carsome Certified cars today!
Read Also: 10 Tips You Should Follow To Buy A Used Car