Buying a used car can be a very overwhelming task. You’re stuck in that movie scene, where the camera freezes on your face in an intense moment of self-doubt. The seller seems honest, but is he really telling the truth? The car is beautiful, but what is really hiding underneath that new coat of paint? The price seems fair, but what is the car really worth? You love the car, but is this really the moment to be overtaken by your emotions? The slightest misinformation could turn your new purchase into hell on wheels and this is definitely what you don’t want to happen! Fear not! We have the solution for you: a step by step guide on buying a used car in Lebanon.
Look for a low mileage car:
All in all, it is better to avoid a car that has run over 100,000 km as companies usually give around 3-4 years and 60,000-100,000 Km warranties. Note that some sellers might twist the mileage on their cars by reducing it. Yes, mileage works like make-up. It can lure you in, but underneath might lay an ugly truth! Before you get stuck, you better check with the car company and take it for a mileage test there.
Unspoiled interior and exterior:
Although many sellers try to polish their cars to make them look more appealing, these tips will help you spot a truly clean car. When it comes to the exterior, look out for differences between the car’s body panels. Get a picture of the car at 0 Km; it’s always good to compare the two. For the interior, the first signs of wear and tear appear on the steering wheel and driver’s seat.
Resale value approximation:
Cars are not like wine; they do not age better with time. You better approximate how much your car will depreciate over the years. Price is not only affected by age and mileage, but also by the release of new models and market demand. You can have an approximation by checking OLX or any car sales website/app for average price of a 2-3-4 or 5 year old model that is similar to yours.
Keep in mind that loans for used cars have a higher advertised interest rate than loans for new ones (around 7% v/s 2%). Some banks offer lower than 2% interest which makes it a real catch if you’re borrowing $10,000 or more. The problem with newer cars is higher insurance and registration fees. But this also depends on engine size and car brand.
People tend to avoid getting cars that have been driven on Lebanese roads. Not all accidents are necessarily registered and we all know it! So look for a car that still has a warranty.
For cars originating from the US, you need to know the state from which the car was imported. Cars coming from cold states tend to rust due to the salt they spread on the road during winter. Always ask for the Carfax.
Reviews on forums and websites:
If you are considering a certain model and model year, always check the internet for known issues. You will always find a couple of things to look out for after doing some online research, some details might even make you change your mind.
Once you have collected all this information, it is time to call your future car’s current owner to see if it’s really the one for you. Remember that it is only by asking the right questions that you will get the right answers. We’ve prepared you a small list of the questions you should ask:
Tell me about the car?
Who owned it?
What about warranty and maintenance location? Is the service book available?
Is there any unpaid mechanique?
What is your reason for selling it?
When and where can we meet so that I can see the car and make a studied decision?
There’s no more reason for you to get it wrong. We hope to see you driving around in a new used car soon!