The second-hand market is doing well with new cars becoming more and more expensive. The average age of a car in France is 11 years: used cars are becoming increasingly popular.
It can be tempting to buy your car privately to get a good deal. Is it more risky or a good plan? We take part.
First the history
Whether you’re buying a used car from a professional or a private individual, you should be interested in its history. The first is to know the number of previous owners. The more there are, the more likely you are to have trouble getting all the information.
A first-hand car is a car that has been resold by a professional after a new purchase or trade-in. Buying first hand from an individual carries little risk, as the latter knows the history and can even prepare the purchase invoice for the car. This way, you will see who is driving the car, and you will be able to see any accidents or transitions, mechanical problems, etc. that may occur in the body. you will be able to find answers to all your questions about A pre-owned dealer can provide you with a service manual and invoices, so you’ll know the exact details of the car’s history.
In the first-hand case from a specialist, everything is already different: you will not know the identity of the driver who owns the vehicle and you will not have access to all the invoices. A professional will certainly sell you a warranty and up-to-date maintenance, but they won’t give you past maintenance invoices. It’s not unusual to find information about documents left in the glove box: if a specialist leaves the car for you for a test drive, see what’s around.
In the case of second hand or more, the individual seller will not be able to confirm the exact date. If he buys the car from a professional and gives you the invoice, you’ll get some reassuring information. On the other hand, if an individual is selling third-hand and has no knowledge of the car’s history or previous invoices, then do not trust. Home mechanics don’t have maintenance fees, which creates gaps in history. Our advice: avoid buying a car without a warranty and without invoices proving regular maintenance and replacement of important parts over the years. This will also allow you to follow the normal evolution of the car’s mileage.
On the professional side, they will be obliged to inform you if the car has already been in an accident. And maintenance should be relevant, maintenance operations should be carried out according to the mileage of the car. If they don’t have items or traces, such as changing the timing belt, they will be required to do so before the sale.
Buy from a person to negotiate better?
When it comes to prices, individuals generally sell for a better price than professionals. It seems logical and even necessary: with a person, there will not necessarily be modern maintenance, new tires, or a thorough cleaning inside and outside the car before delivery. Let’s not talk about any minor body repairs or administrative procedures…
A car sold by an individual should sell for less than a car sold by a dealer or professional. Especially if it is sold without any current warranty.
Unfortunately, some people dream a little too much and charge high, very high prices. Even if negotiations are generally possible, starting with a realistic price will make it easier to get a good deal.
Starting with reasonable pricing and negotiation, you’ll be able to get the price you’d never get from a professional.
However, the decline in new car deliveries, especially for new cars, is driving up used prices unrealistically. This affects prices for both professionals and individuals. With shortened resale times, you’ll have less bargaining power… So you’ll have to be quick to find pearls and stay ahead of your competitors.
Bottom line: be open… and be quick!
To do a good job, you have to be quick and first on the spot. On the one hand, you can buy it from an individual at the best price and leave with a full file of invoices. This will still be true for second hand, except you have to be careful. You’ll get a third-hand car warranty and more comfort and more from a professional.
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