FAQ

Ten questions you should always be able to answer before buying a used car

How to start when buying a used car?

First of all, definitely check all the documents. Ask for a submission of all documents available with the car and compare them with the actual condition. First of all, check identifiers – namely the VIN code. For vehicles made by September 2001, also check the engine number (the engine number is not provided in newer vehicles). If the car has other identifiers (e.g. numbered glass), also check them. The inspection should also include a technical inspection and emission measurement – check that the car has been inspected and when is the next inspection due.

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How to avoid a fraud?

Third-party rights may relate to used cars – they may be the subject matter of a pledge or purchased through leasing. In order to avoid a leasing fraud, it is recommended to find out whether or not any third-party rights are related to the selected vehicle. You can easily find some of these rights in the logbook (when the vehicle is a subject of leasing), but other rights can only be determined by a professional. When purchasing a car through an advertisement, there is always a risk. The “Das WeltAuto” dealers will always inform you of any third-party rights.

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How to avoid buying a stolen car?

There is always a risk when you are buying a car through an advertisement without the involvement of professionals and specialised agencies. It is always worth it to find out where the car comes from (what are its origins). If the car is individually imported from abroad, there is a higher risk that it is a repaired crashed car. Also, the risk of buying a stolen car is higher. Thus it is better to buy used cars that were sold as new in the Czech Republic. The origins of the car can be easily found in the logbook.

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How to find the history of the car?

By checking the service book: it always shows the condition of the car and the care that the previous owner took. If you are interested in a particular car, always ask for the service book. If the dealer cannot provide one, it means that something is wrong: it is likely that the vehicle was not serviced regularly or that it was involved in a crash, which the dealer does not want you to know about.

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How to find out that the car was involved in a crash?

Pay a special attention to places that are often affected by corrosion – thresholds, mudguards, the fifth door etc. It is also suitable to use a bit of force as the covered spots usually are not carefully repaired and it is only a matter of time when the problem arises again. Be especially careful when you find out that the frequently corroding parts are covered with new paintwork or plastic edging.

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What does the initial visual inspection of the car reveal?

The rule is that it is not possible to fully repair a more serious accident on the car: they always leave traces. One of the methods is measuring the depth of paint with a special diagnostic device. Used-car dealerships provide this service. When you visually check the car, focus on joints between the individual components on the body. The paint shades can also tell you a lot.

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What to check on the body?

Pay a special attention to places that are often affected by corrosion – thresholds, mudguards, the fifth door etc. It is also suitable to use a bit of force as the covered spots usually are not carefully repaired and it is only a matter of time when the problem arises again. Be especially careful when you find out that the frequently corroding parts are covered with new paintwork or plastic edging.

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Chassis – should I check it as well?

Naturally! The best is to have the car lifted and check the chassis properly. Pay attention to the corrosion in the floor and the exhaust pipe. Also, any oil leakage, unevenly worn tyres and axle defects are best seen when the car is lifted on the jack.

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What to pay attention to during the test drive?

The test drive should be a matter of course. Watch whether or not the vehicle keeps the trace, how it behaves in sharp turns, whether or not the braking is even and what the engine sounds like. You should also test the accelerator pedal and see what the car is able to do above the regular operation.

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Is it necessary to conclude a purchase contract?

Do not buy a vehicle without a properly concluded purchase contract as it is the only guarantee that you will be able to exercise your rights in case of any troubles. There are many samples of purchase contracts for used vehicles on the Internet. The car has to be precisely specified (identifiers, mileage, age etc.). It should also state that there are no third-party rights related to the car. The contract should also include: the number of keys handed over with the car, details about the state vehicle testing and emissions etc. Ideally, the contract should always include a vehicle condition report including all the defects.

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