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6 tips for buying a used car in the UAE

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If buying new is a little too expensive, you might want to dip into the used marker. Be careful, though. Here’s an important guide to going second-hand.

1. Do your homework
Find out the market value of the car you’re looking at by comparing similar used vehicles advertised online. This will help you weed out overpriced cars and prepare you for the haggling process.

2. Take a good look
It’s best to schedule car viewings during daytime, and at the seller’s home if possible. Try not to go when it’s dark as this can hide dents, scratches and other flaws. Check beneath the car, as well as under the bonnet and wheel-arches for rust and any signs that the car’s been in an accident.

3. Check the history
Ask the seller about his or her ownership experience and check the service records to ensure the car has been maintained properly. Also check that the mileage doesn’t look too low for the age and appearance of the car – if it does, the odometer may have been tampered with.

4. Check the tyres and fluids
Check the condition of the tyres, noting the tread depth and side-wall damage. Tyres with uneven wear could mean that the wheels aren’t correctly aligned or, worse still, that the car has a bent chassis. Also check the fluids to see whether they’ve been changed regularly.

5. Take a test drive
This might seem obvious, but take at least 20-30 minutes, and drive at different speeds and note how the steering, brakes and transmission feel. Listen for any odd noises and check that all the electrics work.

6. Get a professional inspection
It can be worth getting a professional pre-purchase inspection done by a garage you trust. The RTA also offers a Car Valuation Certificate Service, which combines mechanical testing with vehicle valuation based on their vast store of data.

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