Reminder! 4 steps to take before buying a used car

October 13, 20215 min reading

In collaboration with Autogeenius we would like to remind you what to check before making a deal with a car salesman.

The coronavirus has had a strong effect on the entire world, including the automotive industry. Due to the global shortage of microchips and standstills at factories in East Asia we are faced with a crisis in the supply of new cars. The deficit in new cars has, in turn, livened up the used cars market where one can often find vehicles in all sorts of conditions. Autogeenius and we have put together for you FOUR main things to do before buying a used car in order not to get cheated.

As a rule, the advantages of a used car are its cheaper price and the fact that it comes better equipped than a new car. But it also means a bigger risk in terms of unexpected expenses. Today, however, cheaper price is debatable, making it all the more important to know what you are getting for the price. The more mileage a car has on it, the faultier it may be and the more the buyer has to consider possible faults. Before becoming the owner of a used vehicle it is worth knowing where the machine comes from, the mileage it has on it and whether any warranties apply.

Vehicle history

If a car has caught your eye, the first thing you should do is a background check. There are two good ways to do this in Estonia. The first is to enter the car plate number in the Road Administration’s database where you can find the vehicle’s basic information, history of its roadworthiness tests, valid motor third party liability insurance and all past transactions involving the vehicle. If the mileage has been “rolled back” after registration in Estonia, this will be revealed.

Although most of the information is available in the database based on only the registration plate number it is always a good idea to also check the VIN. This means a check of whether two numbers coincide for the same vehicle. It is a useful move because there have been incidents where instead of the VIN of the vehicle for sale the sales advertisement has listed the VIN of another vehicle that has the same appearance as the one in the ad but with a better history.

The database shows the vehicle’s entire technical information but it is much more important to find out its history – date of registration in Estonia and country of origin.

The next step is to check motor third party liability insurance cases; this can be done on the website of the Estonian Motor Insurance Bureau. If the car has been in an accident but the seller has withheld this information in their advertisement, it is definitely something that you should bring up with the seller.

Technical inspection

If everything seems to be in order based on the aforesaid databases, you should contact the car dealership, if possible, and ask for the service history or take the car for a technical inspection.

The amount charged depends on how thorough the inspection is – the average estimate is around twenty euros, but you will get a much better overview of the vehicle’s technical condition and, of course, piece of mind.

Test drive

You don’t buy a pig in a poke, which is why it is important to do a proper test drive. Before starting the drive check to see if all the buttons and functions in the car are in working order – the AC lets out cool air, seat warmers heat up, lights are working and other electronic accessories meet their purpose. A test drive should be more than just a spin around the city, so if you can you should also test it on the highway. Listen for any unusual sounds during acceleration, breaking and making turns. Also make sure the transmission is in working order. By the way, for a little older car with a high mileage it is very important to know whether the transmission, if automatic, has been properly serviced. Repairing the transmission does not come cheap, so you should have a specialist take a look at it before making a purchase.

Paperwork is important

Sounds dreary, but it pays off. It is important to record the facts of the transaction in writing, confirmed by the signatures of both the buyer and the seller. This document may come in handy should one or the other party have any complaints after the transaction.

It would be good to keep the entire documentation pertaining to the car (invoices for repairs, paperwork from roadworthiness tests and so on) that will help you as future seller prove the vehicle’s condition and work done on it. For a buyer this constitutes a set of evidence saying that the car is safe and ready to drive.

Once you have completed the above steps without any surprises, you are likely to shortly become the proud new owner of a car. And what does a new car owner do? The correct answer is they take out and also comprehensive insurance, if necessary. Know that when the going gets tough, IIZI will be there for you! In case of damage call 666 0300 and we will help you even at night.

Insert your licence plate number, compare offers and choose wisely!