Buying A Car From A Private Seller — Guide To A Safe & Secure Transaction

Buying a car is now easier than ever before. If you’re on the lookout for a used car in the UAE, you can select a car from a dealership or a private seller. More often than not, the car being sold by the private seller will be less expensive when compared to a similar one at the dealership, and that makes privately-owned cars very attractive. 

However, there are a few precautions that one must always take while buying a car from a private seller. If you’re looking at purchasing a car from a private seller, here are a few tips & tricks to follow for a safe and secure transaction.

Thoroughly Check The Vehicle

There are some aspects of a car that anybody can check without mechanical knowledge or experience. This includes the condition of the exterior & interior. However, you can always take a trusted mechanic along for a detailed inspection of the mechanical bits. Knowing a car’s mechanical condition will help you ascertain the car’s value. 

You can always opt for DubiCars’ Car Valuation service, to get a detailed inspection of the car done and then understand the real value of the car. You can also drive down to a testing centre with the seller and get the car tested to get a thorough idea of the car’s condition.

Check For Active Warranty & Maintenance Contracts

This one’s a no-brainer. Most new cars come with a factory warranty valid for between 3 to 5 years. At purchase, some buyers opt for maintenance contracts that are valid for a couple of years. In addition, there are extended warranty and maintenance packages that many buyers purchase for their cars. 

If a car is being sold within five years of it being manufactured, there is a good chance that it could still be under warranty or it could have an active maintenance contract. It would be a good idea to enquire about the same before going through with the purchase as it would be beneficial during ownership. If the seller is unsure, one could check with the OEM agency.

Things To Check On A Used Electric Vehicle

Hundreds of electric vehicles are now available in the used car space. Some of them are almost brand new while some are a few years old. An EV requires a much more thorough check-up before purchasing as it could be hazardous if not maintained well.

Firstly, you must check if the car has had an accident. Most modern electric cars use its heavy battery pack as a stressed member, hence, an accident would most likely damage the battery pack as well. If the car has been in an accident, the battery must have been repaired or replaced. If not, it is a red flag. 

Secondly, you must check the battery life and the charging time. An old battery will be weaker and its capacity to retain power drops over the years. An older battery also takes a longer time to charge fully.

Take The Car For A Test Drive

Once you have checked the car visually and physically, it is time for a test drive. A test drive will certainly expose a car’s problems, if any. Watch for any out-of-place noises and movements. Check how the steering wheel, gear lever, and suspension all feel. It should be smooth, comfortable, effortless, and most importantly, it should fit your lifestyle.

Questions to ask yourself include: How many people will you be driving? Is the boot spacious enough? Are you comfortable parking it? Answers to questions like these are sure to have a major influence on your decision.

Think About The Finances Involved

The question being asked here is — how much can you afford? In the UAE, it is possible to get a car for as low as AED 10,000 or for as high as AED 5 Million! Is it really worth pushing hard and buying that fancy car, or should you just buy the car you need and can afford? This is a question worth asking yourself.

Secondly, before you set out to look for a car, you must decide whether you are paying for the car from your savings, from the money you get by selling your previous car, or through a bank loan. If you opt for a bank loan, it is a good idea to ask the bank beforehand, how much they are willing to lend you.

Yet another aspect to keep in mind is — eligibility for the loan based on the age of the vehicle. Cars that are more than five years old are not eligible for financing. In some cases, only cars sold by used car dealerships are eligible for car loans. So, check with your bank before going ahead and picking a car.

Sort Out The Paperwork

Once you’re sure the fines are paid off, it is time to transfer the registration of the vehicle. There are many processes in place to make sure the transfer happens quickly. Here’s a detailed guide on how to transfer vehicle ownership in Dubai. For the registration transfer to take place smoothly and without hindrance, it is imperative that the car’s papers must be in order.

Make Sure Previous Salik Dues & Traffic Fines Are Cleared

This is a simple yet most often overlooked aspect of buying a car. Before buying a car, make sure to check that it does not have any unpaid traffic fines or Salik dues. If there are some unpaid fines, get the car’s previous owner to pay his/her dues and clear it before arriving at the paperwork. Fines can be paid off at the nearest police station, on the Dubai Police app, or website.

Choose A Safe Mode Of Payment

Once you have arrived at common grounds with the seller regarding the price of the car, it is time to make the payment and complete the transaction. However, this is where one needs to be very careful. We suggest that the payment be completed only while the paperwork is handled or if you have paid a deposit on the car, the remaining amount can be paid once the paperwork is done.

While cash payments are most commonly accepted, they aren’t really the safest way to pay. In addition, if the car you’re buying is worth AED 100,000 or more, carrying so much cash around becomes impractical as well. Hence, it is always suggested to choose bank transfers as the mode of payment for your car purchase.

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