Buying the Car – Checking for Faults

It’s time to get your amateur mechanic head on (or better still bringing a mechanic mate to help you) so you can check the car. There are a host of things you should look out for but we’ll go over the most important ones. Starting simple we have to check the oil; for anyone who doesn’t know what to look for, the lighter the oil is, the better. If you see any water or metal bits that means this car will be a money burner if you buy it. If you did bring a mechanic friend this is where they will come into the most use. The Engine itself needs to be checked. Easier said than done if you don’t know what to look for. Don’t worry if you’ve got no experience here or a mechanic mate on hand to help, you need to check the engine for signs of rust, corrosion, and wear & tear. After you’ve checked the engine you should start the car. If the car was on when you got there it should raise red flags; it could mean there are issues with the engine when it cold starts. And here is where we get to the biggest split between the petrolheads and the laymen: driving the car. Anyone who is interested in cars will know how one should feel when you drive it, so you will instantly pick up any problems with the car. If the seller doesn’t let you drive the car you should walk away. If they do and you’re happy it is now time to start the real battle: Haggling.

Buying the Car – Haggling

I think this is possibly the most important part of the process; haggling the seller down to a point where you’re happy to purchase the car. After having a look at the car you’ll know the faults, use these, especially if the seller didn’t advertise them. Most sellers won’t take this into account if you’re not calm and thorough in your search. You need to display an air of confidence and sound like you know what you’re talking about. But this won’t always be enough; you might need to leave and wait a couple of days. Use this time to watch the car, see if it has much interest or not, what other people offer for it, etc. Going back after this you might find the seller is more willing to sell it at your price. Before any money exchanges hands though, you need to check with the seller that they have the title and registration, this’ll help save you a lengthy bit of hassle in the future.

Pricing Your Car and Maintenance

Now the car is yours, you need to think of fixing the problems you found. Take the car to a mechanic and have them look it over. Don’t be surprised if they find more problems with the car than you did, they are professionals after all. Get a price for how much the repairs will cost, you should know already what the maximum price your car will sell for already so you will be able to see if it is worth the cost. If you don’t have an idea of the price range of the car, a useful tool is to visit a car price comparison site. These sites can also be useful when it comes to actually setting the price later on. Before you can set a price though you need to think of the absolute minimum price you’ll let the car go for. This’ll give you a good idea of where you should settle when it comes to buyers haggling.

Extra Points for You to Consider

There are some extra things you should take into account. First things first, check the car over yourself after you’ve had the mechanic fix it, so you can check for any faults (again). This is so that you can be 100% sure and that any potentially remaining faults can’t be used against you in the haggling process. In that, you should list these faults in the ad so anyone who comes to view the car are already aware of the problems. Next, keep the car clean. The more care you take when it comes to the car, the more likely someone will be willing to pay a higher price. In this effort, you should also change the oil, radiator fluid, and wiper fluid. Offer it as a service, this can be a good way of building customer trust, it shows you’re willing to go above and beyond for customers. Finally, you should look into insurance for you and your customers. It can be difficult to know what kind of cover you need and how much it will cost, but a specialist broker can help you. It’s definitely important and cannot be stated enough.


Running a used-car business from your home can be an exceptionally rewarding business model but can also be difficult. This article has (hopefully) given you a general gist of how to buy a car for as cheap as possible and how to sell it as quickly, for as much profit as possible, and how to maximise customer satisfaction.