Buy used cars - Guide for private buyers

Used vehicles are enjoying great popularity. In recent years, a veritable used-car culture has emerged. Many consumers are using it massive loss of value in new cars happy to used to benefit from the price advantages. When purchasing, however, some factors must be considered. After all, a bad buy could have unpleasant financial consequences. This guide provides some of the key points that are crucial when comparing and reviewing used cars.

Check condition carefully

If you have little idea of ​​cars, you should organize a guided tour to help you better assess the condition of your potential property. If this is not possible due to a lack of contacts, consumers should check the essential features before the visit to make it easier to check the vehicle. First and foremost, plenty of time should be allowed for a vehicle tour to get a good impression of the car General condition close. The first indicators are paint, interior and body. Scratches and bumps on the paint can indicate an accident or damage. A good example is the gap dimensions on the boot. Are these unevenly wide and even fits a whole finger in the gap, the probability of a previous vehicle damage is great. Also, a small magnet (of course, with a coating to not damage the foreign vehicle) can help uncover touch-ups. As soon as the magnet If the body does not adhere to the body in places, this indicates thicker layers of putty and thus repaired damage, which are located underneath the paint and initially invisible to the eye.

A handle in the interior reveals whether the vehicle is damp inside and therefore leaking. The brakes should also be critically appraised. Are on the brake disc deep grooves, brake wear is high. Such findings can add scope for negotiation and provide a chance to lower the price. As for the tires, the same careful look is to be used. The tread depth should always be controlled and the age of the tire is crucial. It can be identified by a four-digit number on the tire indicating the week and the year.


It is advisable to ask the seller questions in order to learn as much as possible about the car. The following questions are important:

  • How many owners did the vehicle have?
  • Are there accident or previous damages?
  • When was the car built and when was the first registration?
  • Is the checkbook checked and complete? (To be submitted!)

In addition, the car should be started before the test drive to eventual noise the motorization. A check of the interior in terms of smell, pedal condition and seats should be equally natural. Tips for a test drive we have in this post listed separately.

Already for under 100 Euro can be at service providers such as the ADAC, but also some other companies a so-called Used car check carry out. If the seller agrees, the potential buyer can take the vehicle to the inspection center, where it is checked for defects by means of an extensive checklist. If the car passes the check, interested parties can buy it peacefully.

Study documents about the vehicle

Unfortunately, 100 never excludes factors such as Mileage or vehicle condition, which are confirmed by the seller, actually true. Many used change only by manipulation the owner. To minimize the risk of minimizing risk, potential buyers should consider all HU reports and Invoices from workshops to the vehicle. It's best to read these documents calmly. They are a valuable reference to the car condition. Suspicious is any salesman who has no such papers. At least if the vehicle was in his possession for several years.


The warranty

As when buying a car from private individuals Warranty is usually completely excluded, the vehicle condition must be checked particularly well. If the car is purchased from a used car dealer instead, other terms apply to the warranty. The independent one Consumer portal Verivox offers online not just a used car search, but points out in a vehicle guide also to the following: "Commercial sellers, so dealers, but also companies, traders and freelancers in the sale of the company car, are one 2 year warranty required by law. However, this may be contractually reduced to one year for used cars. "Compared to the new car warranty but it is only one Liability for defects, For example, damage to the vehicle due to signs of wear and tear caused by the previous owner will not be covered.

Often potential vehicle seekers are dubious car dealers defects lists which are to be considered as a contractual component and contain numerous blanket defects. Such traders usually want to avoid their warranty obligations and should be avoided.

Is the price correct?

No matter if the used one is bought by a private person or a car dealer: The price should not be accepted without comment, but should be examined in detail. Often this does not correspond to the vehicle value. If the selling price seems excessive, both the Schwacke list are used as valuation orientation as well as valuation services such as DAT (Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH). Interested parties can find out more about the vehicle's value via the fast and uncomplicated way current used car price list of the ADAC, The linked price overview lists 4.200 vehicles. The prices should be considered only as orientation. The final price depends on the condition of the object of purchase. An independent appraiser can also create an individual appraisal of the used car if the owner agrees.

The used car check of the show Adventure Car shows what an appraiser also looks out for when inspecting used vehicles, which can facilitate the rating of vehicles:

The seller check

Should a seller push for purchase or put pressure on him in any way, then he should be kept away from his offer. Not infrequently hidden defects are the trigger for the behavior. Also, it is advisable to use the data on the personal vendor's ID card with the data on the registration document compare to find out if the person is actually the owner of the vehicle. If the information deviates, another person is in possession of the used one. Again, caution is needed.

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