When buying a used car: Don't be ripped off!

Hidden defects are particularly tricky. Here we show you, which points you should pay particular attention to. A little uncertainty always remains: Who buys a new used one, never know, whether there isn't a defect lurking somewhere under the paintwork or hood, who later goes well into the money. Most of the damage can be seen by almost anyone, because there are objective criteria, by which one can judge a car. However, there is still an obstacle to buying sensibly, that's them
self: When the car of your dreams is found after a long search, one likes to overlook one or the other little thing. When buying a car, it has proven useful to take a companion with you, who judges the offer soberly. The formalities are important when buying a used vehicle: Is the seller identical to the person entered in the vehicle registration document, is the chassis number correct, foreign parts on the vehicle are also entered in a letter or certificate? The service booklet also belongs to the papers, Regular treatments with underbody protection and cavity preservation are noted here. The sheet metal folds are among the particularly rust-prone zones, so the places, where sheets meet.
For example, the lower door edges or the metal sheets in the engine compartment. Should a sheet metal part not appear one hundred percent straight to you, a magnet helps: He slips off, a thick layer of filler is hidden under the paint.
Are the tires not brand new anymore, you can negotiate a discount. And you may know. even more: Wavy wear indicates defective shock absorbers, one-sided wear on misaligned track. In the latter case, this can also be an indication of accidental damage. Further indications for this are color differences in the paint, Paint residue on the rubber windshields and stretched seat belts.

Who does not take a test drive, is your own fault: Many defects can be identified in this way. Drive the car onto the curb with one wheel: Doors and hoods still open and close properly, the framework is stable. The exhaust gases provide important information about the condition of the engine: White smoke is water vapor – normal with a cold engine. The same thing with a warm engine is not a good sign, then cooling water enters the engine through a seal. Blue smoke when accelerating or releasing the gas: an indication of defective valve stems.

Lied to and betrayed?
Names like "tiptop", “Technically perfect” or “excellent condition” are common in retail, but have little significance in the event of a dispute. Therefore, you should also record defects in the sales contract. The same applies to all side agreements, Guarantees and costs.

Head of expert appraisal at DEKRA, has put together a checklist for buying a car:

■ Ist der Anbieter zum Verkauf des Fahrzeuges berechtigt? Does the chassis number on the car match the information on the papers??

■ Ist das Fahrzeug unfallfrei? Indications of previous damage are e.g.. B. overpainted rubber seals, Color differences in the paint, Deformations of the trunk floor, different distances between door and fenders. Keep the accident-free resp. the extent of accidental damage in writing in the sales contract.

■ Sind vorgenommene Bauartveränderungen, with. B. a different steering wheel or different tires, entered in the vehicle registration document? A general operating permit is often sufficient for accessories (ABE), which belongs to the vehicle documents.

■ Im Kfz-Brief sind die Vorbesitzer eingetragen. Many changes of owner can be an indication of dissatisfaction with the car.

■ Lassen Sie sich die letzten Reparaturrechnungen, Submit the customer service booklet and the latest inspection reports from TÜV or DEKRA.

■ Untersuchen Sie die Karosserie auf Rost. Thick underbody protection and filler are suspect. Check the following: Door sills outside and inside, Longitudinal and cross members, Spring bearings and wheel arches, Door pillars below, Rebates of doors and hoods, Vehicle floor (Remove floor coverings).

■ Bei der Probefahrt auf folgendes achten: The car emits strong oil smoke when it is pushing? The engine runs without any noise, the gears can be inserted properly? If the vehicle runs straight ahead "hands-free"? Pull the brakes evenly?

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