Planning on buying a used car? Here are the risks


With the challenging economic climate, budgets have become tighter and it has become evident that fewer people have the privilege to buy a new vehicle.

According to Arrive Alive, there has been a continually growing market in South Africa for used cars.

“Buying used cars will be significantly more affordable than buying a new car. You won’t pay nearly as much for a used car as a new car. The exception is a high-end or vintage car which may most likely keep its resale value.”

Arrive Alive added that the reduced rate of depreciation is one of the benefits of purchasing a used car.

“Used cars will already have gone through considerable depreciation. The car may not lose value as quickly as when the car was new. You’re far less likely to worry about dings and chips than you would with a brand-spanking new model. Even though the used car will still depreciate after buying it, it won’t be near as much as when you buy a new car.”

Furthermore, vehicle owners will also have the opportunity to benefit from cheaper car insurance for used cars as “a car’s age and value influence how much your insurance is, so a slightly older, less valuable used car will be cheaper to insure.”

Other benefits include the ability to buy a warranty and a wide variety of choices when choosing a used car.

However, buyers of used cars need to be “alert and cautious as a used car could come with underlying problems,” Arrive Alive warned.

Risk factors of buying a used vehicle as provided by Arrive Alive: 

  • Existing problems with the Vehicle: By law, when the sellers sell the car to the dealership, they have to disclose to the dealership if there are any problems or not. Unfortunately, this is not always guaranteed.
  • Mechanical issues: Dealerships will try and remedy the vehicle to run smoothly, but after some time, these problems could re-occur.
  • Compromises are Required: You will most likely have to compromise with a used car in terms of specifications such as colour, mileage, etc. and might have to look for a second option as well when the dealership does not have exactly what you want.

“Don’t make your purchase decision based on a cursory review only. Research the vehicle thoroughly; be aware of the mileage, accident history, and roadworthiness of the vehicle,” Arrive Alive concluded.

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Compiled by Gypseenia Lion