When James Deakin was getting his first car, he turned to secondhand. At the time, he says there were no sites like OLX. Only newspapers. He compares the process to “going through a minefield” because of all the hits and misses. Now, with online platforms readily available, getting information and finding what you want has gotten so much easier.
For Deakin, OLX serves as a great negotiation tool because it lets people know what’s out there. In particular, buyers have the advantage of knowing how much other cars are priced.
Thanks to sites like OLX, Deakin shares how it’s easy to make a shortlist. Start with a top 5 and from there, contact the sellers for more info. He suggests asking for more photos, especially of the engine and the tire treads. By the time you actually go and see a car, it’s just a matter of confirmation.
If it’s your first time buying a car, Deakin suggests getting what the currently top-selling car is. This is because they’re normally reliable and their parts are plentiful. If not, then it’s a matter of knowing what one wants and what budget one has. Ideally, one can reduce costs by going secondhand.
When it comes to inspecting a secondhand car, Deakin says the first thing one should look for is the car’s paperwork. Besides papers on ownership, it’s important to see proof that the car has been maintained properly like the car’s maintenance records. He also recommends checking with the Land Transportation Office if the car has been flagged for anything.
Of course, he urges taking the car for a test drive. He says one gets a gut feeling when something is wrong.
Trust your feelings. You can feel if something’s wrong. There are sounds that shouldn’t be there. Maybe a certain looseness. It’s pulling to the right or the left. Or it feels labored. It’s hard to explain. It’s a gut feeling. Try to look for that.
Deakin also reminds in checking the car for signs of flooding. According to him, one can check for signs of flooding by checking screws inside the car for rust. ”It’s not a place in the car that should get wet so normally they’re not made of steel,” he says.
If there are signs of rust, Deakin recommends bringing it up with the seller. A seller who refuses to be upfront if the car was flooded, then it might be a dealbreaker, Deakin says.
Once one has these out of the way, then you move on to negotiation.
How To Negotiate
If the car and the seller are free from dealbreakers, then it’s time to evaluate and negotiate the price.
“Once you’ve established that the car is decent you look for things like tire wear, scratches and dents. Bring a mechanic if you can. They’ll check the brakes, fluids, hoses, under chassis, tire rods, and other components. Unless you can do it yourself.”
According to Deakin, having a mechanic with you can help you identify what parts of the car need to be serviced, repaired, or replaced. For Deakin, these are points of negotiation. He says that if the car will cause additional expenses, then one can ask the seller to factor these in the price. After all, it makes sense to lower the price if the car isn’t in the best shape.
Whether you’re buying or selling, make sure you’re always safe when transacting. If the person you’re transacting with recommends meeting up at sketchy locations, he says to try and insist on public places.
If possible, Deakin advises that you have someone with you and to always have a person who knows where you are. For sellers, he strongly advises against letting prospective buyers drive the car on their own.
When it comes to paperwork, Deakin advises buyers to be strict with paperwork and never transact while there are still paperworks pending. “Everything should already be ready when the car is up for sale,” he says.
Keep these tips in mind, you’ll have your dream ride in no time. Happy driving, OLXers!
This is part two of two parts.