Tip 1 – Do some research – identify need, budget and compare prices
Know what you need and what is your budget. Do you need a car to
commute to work everyday? In which case a small, fuel efficient one is
sufficient. Or do you need a family car for your wife to ferry the
children to and from school everyday? Try to identify several makes and
model that have received good reviews. Identify also your budget. There
are many sites
that you can look at to see what’s available and also to compare
prices. Shortlist a few, or more than a few, depending on how much time
you have (don’t forget you will have to go personally inspect and test
drive these cars).
Tip 2 – Have the car inspected by your trusted mechanic
Don’t have a mechanic you can trust? Well then bring a friend who has
some motoring knowledge.
Get them to do the questioning and drilling. A mechanic is best though,
so if you can get him to spare some time to accompany you, that is
great. Otherwise, try to arrange for the seller to send the car to your
mechanic’s workshop for inspection. Things to watch out for: Signs of
the car being a kereta potong! Rusts, dents, scratches. Check under the
hood, check the engine and all the electronics, check under the chassis.
Your mechanics knows better what to do. And also if possible, ask to
check its service record to see if the car has been well maintained.
Tip 3 – Test drive!
Again, have a friend or mechanic with you. Have both of you test
drive the car. You, because you will be the one driving it if you do
decide to buy it. So it must feel good and right to you. And your
friend/ mechanic because they might be in a better position to tell if
something feels ‘off’. Test everything! Indication lights, brakes,
clutches, electronic windows; adjust the seats and steering wheel so
that you can sit and drive comfortably. If you have children who will be
sitting at the back, consider if it would be comfortable for them. Will
the child seat fit? If you balik kampung a lot, will there be enough
space in the trunk to fit all the luggages? Is the air-coned cold
Tip 4 – Trade-in value
So finally, you’ve shortlisted a handful of cars you like, or maybe
just a couple. How can you decide when you love all of them? One of the
ways is the trade-in value of the cars. If you are buying an older car,
this may not be a very useful info. But if the cars you are considering
are relatively new, and there may be a possibility of re-selling to buy a
brand new car in the near future, it may be helpful if you compared
their trade-in values.
Tip 5 – Check those papers
Avoid getting scammed. Check all documents thoroughly.