Second-hand vehicle offers abound on the internet. Should you buy from an individual or a professional? How to evaluate the vehicle at its fair price and secure the transaction? This may or may not include shipping. Then perhaps our truck load board would be a good shipping resource for your exact purpose. Follow our advice to avoid getting cheated.
The second-hand market is changing. More and more traffic restrictions, the announced end of diesel, return to favor of gasoline engines … So many variables to which is added the stress of falling on a made-up car, with the counter tampered with or at the end of its life. In short, finding the right second-hand car is more than ever an obstacle course. Especially in the face of a bloated offer. Some 5.5 million cars change owners each year in France. Two-thirds are sold from individual to individual, in particular on the leboncoin.fr site. The remaining third is acquired from automotive professionals. So, how not to be wrong?
1) Prefer a popular model
Beware of false good ideas. Uncommon vehicles are less expensive, but you might run into problems with maintenance and parts supply. Without forgetting that the subsequent resale would be synonymous with a heavy discount. Don’t focus on the price: the cheap car isn’t always the best. For an identical vehicle, it is more interesting to pay a little more for a car on which the maintenance is up to date. For example, if the timing belt needs to be replaced, the operation will result in an invoice of € 800. And you won’t be able to save it.
2) Choose from the most reliable series
The dieselgate scandal that plagues the German group Volkswagen (VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda) is far from being the only quality problem suffered by mass-market vehicles. A number of diesel engines have failed: breakage of certain Renault dCi series, malfunction of the HDi and TDCi of Peugeot, Citroën and Ford … Difficult to navigate when you are not keen on mechanics. Several international studies nevertheless make it possible to identify the most reliable versions. Every 2 years, the group of consumer associations Euroconsumers (Spain, Italy, Portugal, France and Belgium) publishes a study on dozens of brands and hundreds of models classified according to their failure rate, after analyzing 35,000 feedback from drivers. The study is available in the form of a used vehicle comparator on the site: test-achats.be/mobilite/autos. For gasoline vehicles, 6 models share the first place: the Seat Ateca, the BMW 4 Series, the Skoda Rapid, the Suzuki Celerio, the Volvo S80 and the Lexus IS.
The JD Power Institute publishes an equivalent annual study in the United States (jdpower.com/cars). Its conclusions are valid for identical models present on the European market.
3) Find the right price
There are almost as many second-hand ratings as there are magazines or specialized sites. And sometimes with impressive gaps! To find the right price, you have to understand them. The Argus rating (largus.fr) is a benchmark for professionals. The prices displayed are therefore rather low, intended to estimate trade-in prices and not resale prices. Lacentrale.fr is the opposite example. It calculates a more generous rating for private sellers. The real market price is in between. A search for “whole France” on leboncoin.fr will help you to validate the fair price of the desired automobile according to your parameters.
4) Choose to buy from a professional
Prices negotiated between individuals are more attractive than those charged in garages. But then you buy without warranty, with limited remedies in the event of a dispute. And scams are common. Contact the seller to collect information: copy of the vehicle registration document, the purchase invoice and proof of overhauls and repairs. A duly stamped maintenance booklet must accompany the invoices. If you don’t know anything about the car, turn to a mechanic. All manufacturers have used quality labels. Renault Garantie Or, Volkswagen Das WeltAuto, Millétoile Mercedes, Toyota Occasions Hybrids … There are sometimes categories according to the age of the car, as at Peugeot, with the Pre-owned Lion Premium (vehicle up to 6 years and 130,000 km on the clock at the maximum) or Primo (10 years and 160,000 km). These labels involve a complete overhaul with testing and checks, a commercial warranty of 6 to 36 months and assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, often coupled with the loan of a car in the event of a breakdown. Depending on the brand, the “satisfied or replaced” option allows you to change your mind after a few days. In addition, professionals must assume the legal guarantee of conformity which covers the car 2 years after purchase. the option “satisfied or replaced” allows you to change your mind after a few days. In addition, professionals must assume the legal guarantee of conformity which covers the car 2 years after purchase. the option “satisfied or replaced” allows you to change your mind after a few days. In addition, professionals must assume the legal guarantee of conformity which covers the car 2 years after purchase.
5) retrace the history of the car
Whether professional or private, a seller must provide all proof of maintenance and repairs carried out. Having the initial purchase invoice is an asset, if only to diagnose the precise model and its possible options, which may justify a premium. Be careful, sellers often amalgamate standard equipment and options in order to over-price their vehicle. Note that a standard over-equipped model will be less priced than a basic version with equivalent options. Finally, if the car is over 4 years old, a technical inspection report dated less than 6 months is imperative. Make sure that any faults observed have been corrected, otherwise repairs and check-up will be your responsibility. This invaluable technical control also makes it possible to know the real mileage of the car. Indeed, according to the Automobile Club Association, one in five used cars in France and one in three in Europe are sold with a faked meter! A scam in full explosion so much the boxes and software allowing to “rejuvenate” a car are at good price on the Net. The handling does not leave any traces, it is necessary to carry out the investigation near the national authority which governs the technical control. Send a request to the Central Technical Body (OTC) using the “contact us” tab of the utac-otc.com portal to obtain, from a license plate, all the dates of the checks, the mileage recorded at each visit, as well as the verdict of expert opinions. The process is free. Nothing more,
6) screen the vehicle
Start by testing all electrical functions, from lighting to window regulators, ventilation, demisting, etc. A broken electric window costs 350 to 500 € to repair. Lift the seat covers, they sometimes serve as a hide-and-seek. Track down traces of moisture under carpets and trunk mats, signs of a waterproofing to be resumed. If the car has air conditioning, turn it on. Bad odors or the absence of cold air are synonymous with problems, the repair of which is costly. Then look at the body to detect color differences indicative of old interventions. Do not forget the tires whose wear must be regular. Otherwise, a transition to geometry is required to adjust the running gear. Then count from 100 to 200 € for the simple check, to which is added the hourly cost of labor if an adjustment is necessary. Nothing crippling, but enough to renegotiate the price.
7) take a test drive
Getting behind the wheel is essential. And don’t just go around the block! In town, appreciate the behavior of the clutch (neither too hard nor too soft), of the gearbox (no creaking or difficulty in changing gears). Don’t forget to test reverse gear as well. A few kilometers on the road will make it possible to detect tired shock absorbers (unsteadiness in cornering, excessive body movements) and to judge the braking pleasure. Watch in the rearview mirror for a plume of smoke when accelerating sharply, a sign of a tired engine! End your test by lifting the hood. If a greasy appearance is normal, various leaks, a burning smell or brown coolant should alert you. Pull out the dipstick to check the level.
8) Delegate research and expertise
You can hire a state-licensed specialist to examine the coveted vehicle. Members of the Syndicate of Independent Experts (experts-auto-independants.com) invoice these services from 140 to 350 € depending on the level of investigation requested. A sum quickly amortized because it allows to negotiate 10 to 15% of the purchase price and to escape long hours of research and personal travel. Specialized sites, such as carizy.com and reezocar.com, offer the same service, with the use of a certified expert. The latter goes to the seller, sifts the car, proceeds to the road test and constitutes a thick photo file. It is remunerated by a commission of 5 to 6% on the price of the vehicle. These services are recommended if you are not a mechanical ace or if you do not have the time to devote to them.