Checklist car purchase

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Buying a car – playing it safe

For most people, buying a car is one of the biggest investments in life – and therefore needs to be well thought out. We give you an overview of the most important questions you should ask yourself in the process. The checklist is also available in summarized form as a download – simply print it out and check it off:

Table of contents

  • Before buying a car
  • During the car purchase
  • After buying a car
  • Where can I find relevant information?
  • Buy a car online

1. Before buying a car

What can I afford?

The most important decision criterion is probably the price of the vehicle. This is followed by the question of financing and the consideration take out a loan or possibly the car pay cash can. In this case – at least for new cars – high discounts are usually granted. However, it is also possible that a leasing contract worthwhile.

Icon: Money bills, credit/financing

  • Do you need a credit or financing?
  • Can you afford the car pay cash?
  • Comes also a leasing contract question?

However, the purchase is not the end of the story. Don’t forget to include the cost of maintaining the car in your calculations: fuel consumption, taxes, car insurance, maintenance and repairs. If you have to pay for a parking space?

New or used car?

Soberly considered, the price is the dominating cost factor. Experts from automobile clubs put it at 50 – 60%.

New car costs more in the purchase, cause in the first years but hardly any repair costs. If you negotiate the price skilfully, the dealer will often meet you halfway on the purchase price. Individual discontinued models desperate sellers recently offered it for a good third below list price. However, the depreciation of a new car is very high, especially in the first few years. If you sell a new car after four years, it will only fetch about half of the purchase price.

At used cars in turn, the purchase price is lower, but they can quickly go into the money in operation. The golden mean is therefore at a 2 – 3 years old used. The worst depreciation is already over there and greater repairs should still be a long time coming.

compare prices

Check the market prices – online portals are particularly suitable.

Inform yourself in advance about the current prices for your desired vehicle. Online portals are ideal for this purpose. Depending on the brand, model, year, mileage and general condition, you can get an overview of the current market prices. If your seller demands significantly more, he might try to rip you off. Demand significantly less, you should also be alert and look out for hidden defects.

what kind of vehicle do i need?

Consider, how and what the car will be used for. Do you transport child and cone with it, the daily purchases, or is it primarily used for excursions and short trips? Do you need the car for sports activities how z. B. skiing, or are you planning other leisure activities for which you need a lot of space and a large trunk? This results in the decision for or against a small car, SUV, coupe or station wagon.

Icon: Car with question mark, vehicle use

  • What will you use the using a car?
  • Put your money on prestige or practicality?
  • Play the type of drive a role for you?

Also consider whether you rather long or short distances, take a trip on the highway or in town. Do you stick with gasoline, or do you go electric?? Would a hybrid be something for you? Here you can learn more about drive types available today.

What you do not want to do without?

This includes safety and assistance systems, z. B. Airbag, ABS, parking aid, navigation system, cruise control, immobilizer and alarm system. Amenities such as air conditioning, seat and auxiliary heating, hands-free phone system, bluetooth and power side mirrors are also a deciding factor. Only then does the question of color and brand arise.

Icon: Car brand, color, safety and comfort

  • safety or comfort? Or both?
  • Is the car brand or the color of importance?

2. During the car buying process

appraisal of a new car:

When visit and the subsequent test drive test the handling of the vehicle and the instruments. do all the gauges read well? Are the individual elements easy to reach and operate? Can doors and flaps be opened and closed conveniently? how is the driving experience?

Icon: Car with magnifying glass, operation/driving comfort

  • Can the car be used for easy to operate?
  • Can you reach everything easily?
  • Are you satisfied with street location satisfied?

Appraisal of a used car:

First impressions are important – but not always reliable. This also applies to the purchase of a new used cars. Because in which technical condition where the vehicle is really located, only the professional.

To help you know what to look for when buying a car, here are the best Tips and tricks from our DEKRA experts for you:

Whether you are buying a used car from a dealer or a private individual, take the time to inspect it thoroughly.

Start first with the exterior inspection: there is rust spots on door sills, longitudinal members, fenders? Shine a flashlight into hidden corners. How is the condition of the rubber seals on doors, windows and the sunroof? How does the underbody protection from? In the case of a convertible you should opening and closing the soft top several times. Pay attention to bumps, color differences and putties on the outside. Take a look at the tires, and check the profile. If the make, tire size and construction match? What about the spare wheel?

Icon: Car with magnifying glass, used car check

  • Power the car noticeable noises?
  • Have you tires, brakes and mileage have it checked?
  • Do you have a experts consulted?

Inside should you have lift mats and carpets and on damp spots pay attention. check the function of seats and safety belts. Are all instruments in working order and operable? Are the pedals worn or brand new, and does this correspond to the specified mileage?

When you look at the engine compartment these things should be checked: oil level, coolant, condition of seals, hoses and fan belts and the battery. The engine should not be smeared and oily, nor wiped excessively clean.

During the test drive, of course you are behind the wheel yourself, you should dedicate your concentration to the vehicle. How to start the car? function clutch and brakes in different traffic situations? drive a sufficiently long distance. take climbs, and go into corners, drive even on uneven, bad ground. Focus also on driving noise.

When buying a vehicle, make sure that the car checkbook maintained, is TuV or DEKRA approved or has a manufacturer certification.

When buying a used car, get the show papers. These include the report of the last main inspection, the service booklet, invoices for repairs and spare parts. So you can find out right away if the car has been well maintained and serviced regularly.

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