Friday, March 2, 2012

Used Car Buying Tips

You need a car for your daily commute to school, or to work. You need a car to serve as a secondary car for the requisite trips to the palengke or making sundo the kids in school. You need a car for your ever growing business. And you need a car because you dreamt of driving one during your teenage years (feeling young again). And you do have a smaller budget or a budget for brand new but does (and) believe in the power of new car depreciation (new cars can depreciate as much as 73 percent in 3 years, according to a data from Kelley Blue Book). So, you do desire to get a second hand car. This requires a lot of effort and time, but taking them one step at a time, you'll get to drive home that used car you desire.

You need a van for the growing family but want the looks of a mid-size SUV with a third row. So, what do you prioritize? Practicality for carrying multitudes of stuff? Comfort for the extended family on vacations? Something zippy on parking lots? Or something fast and agile? List down the things you want to see on your desired car, and read various reviews from magazines, the internet, or join automotive forums. It does not hurt to do a little research, to avoid regret and buyer's remorse in the end.

Also not forget to evaluate your financial capabilities, since you'll be paying the seller with either cash or through financing (depends on the agreement). Count in the fuel and maintenance expenses, since it would be a trouble to pay something that is not working.

Have you narrowed your choices to several models? It's now time for the treasure hunt finding someone's treasure. Various sources do include the internet (think of the sites,,, magazine classifieds, and the popular Manila Bulletin classified ads every Sunday. You made the calls to their owners or the dealers, now is the time to make a thorough inspection. Bring a competent mechanic with you, and a companion to keep things safe. Let the mechanic inspect the car from its mechanicals to the interior. If the owner or dealer does not allow you to inspect the car, walk away. Take the car for a spin that involves various routes and road conditions. Try every available gear and every available gadget that the car has. If the owner or dealer does not permit to take a car for a test drive, it means the car has a problem that he/she does not want you to know. It would better to take the occupants (kids, spouse, any family members, or friends that would use the car) for the test drive and if one of them will use the car, let them experience. The first drive is the make or break of the used car purchase. And don't forget to verify the car's clean status through LTO Text, just key in LTO (vehicle's license plate number) and send it to 2600.

So, how would you pay the owner or dealer? Cold cash (in a suitcase) or through financing (either bank or those from lending institutions)? Your call, there are some older cars (usually older than 10 years old) that cannot be financed by some banks. And some vehicles five years or less have unfinished payments, which you can continue the payment (called assume payment in classifieds) or the owner can plunk in the final payment. If the owner wants a swap or trade in, and your car is his/her prospect, you pay the value of the car (the car itself, ok?) plus additional cash in excess.

Everything had been set, but you want to see your name on the registration documents. Let you and the owner/dealer have sign a deed of sale between the two of you. Plus, have the two of you go to a LTO office to have the car registered under your name. And also verify it with the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) if it is a hot car (in other words, nakaw ang kotse), if the car is considered as, be careful! Walk away from the deal.

There you have it. You can get the used car of your dreams for any purpose without any hassle. Just remember, don't be nervous, and in the end, the keys are yours. Follow these tips and worry free driving years are to come.


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