Munich (ots) - Year after year, millions of used cars in Germany change hands. However, it is not uncommon for buyers to experience a nasty surprise after signing the sales contract: manipulated speedometers, concealed damage or missing papers. The ADAC has put together the most important tips to look out for when buying a used car.
Complete vehicle documentation is important: a well-maintained service booklet, the report of the most recent general inspection and an AU certificate. The used car should be viewed in peace, in daylight and dry weather and extensively test driven. It is essential to check the vehicle documents for completeness, as well as whether the seller is actually the owner. Basically: All verbal promises always have to be confirmed in writing.
A tour around the car provides an impression of the technical condition. If the vehicle has not been washed, the body surface cannot be checked so easily. Check the car for rust, dents or scratches and also examine tires, windows, headlights and indicators.
If you look under the car, you can see whether it is leaking oil or other liquids. This could indicate a problem in the engine or transmission. Also check hoses and seals. If the coolant in the container is cloudy, this could be due to a defective cylinder head gasket. Damp carpets in the vehicle interior are a possible indication of a leaky body. And: If the seat belts do not roll up without problems, they have to be replaced.
A test drive is absolutely necessary. Ideally with an accompanying person who can also watch out for background noises (can be an indication of damage). This gives you clarity about driving behavior and technical peculiarities. Check the display instruments in the cockpit, such as indicator lights, speedometer and tachometer. Also test the air conditioning, electric exterior mirrors, heated seats, radio and all other electrical functions. The gearbox should shift easily and the steering wheel shouldn't vibrate. Brakes must be checked specifically: for this, it is advisable to accelerate briefly to around 100 km / h outside of town on a free side stretch and then to brake more and more slowly. In this way it can be seen whether the car is staying in the lane or behaving abnormally.
Helpful: a used vehicle inspection at a testing organization such as the ADAC. This is how you get a neutral assessment of the condition of the car from a specialist.
Further ADAC tips on buying a used car are available at https://www.adac.de/rund-ums-fahrzeug/auto-kaufen-verkaufen/gebendetwagenkauf/
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Posted by: ADAC
The text is a press release from ADAC. The text was not edited or changed by our editorial team.