8 Points to Consider When Buying Pre-Owned Cars in Singapore
When buying pre-owned cars in Singapore, it is important to consider more than just the price, make and model of the vehicles. There are other factors that should be taken into account to ensure the deal meets the standards of a reliable car.
Here is an in-depth insight into the 8 factors to consider when buying pre-owned cars in Singapore:
1. History of the Used Car
A car’s history is one of the most important things to consider when buying a vehicle.
When purchasing a used vehicle in Singapore, a Preferential Additional Registration Fee (PARF) and a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) are often discussed. The difference determines the price and indicates the length of car usage. The main difference is that PARF cars are deregistered in less than ten years of their registration, while COE cars are deregistered after ten years.
In Singapore, the COE document allows a car to be on the road for additional ten years after the certificate renewal. Therefore, a COE car would get back the COE rebate after deregistering it within the duration.
On the contrary, if a car has been deregistered within the first ten years of its certificate, the car owner will get a PARF rebate. The rebate amount depends on the age when the car is deregistered; for example, the PARF rebate for a car that is deregistered within 5 years will be higher than the car that is deregistered after 5 years.
It is important to know that pre-owned cars in Singapore have no statutory limits on how often an owner can renew its COE. Hence, some cars can be more than ten years old and may not be eligible for a rebate. Therefore, seeking a reputable used car dealer in Singapore who can provide the necessary details is essential when purchasing a car.
2. Rust or Paint Damage
Rust stains on a car’s body will damage its paint as it corrodes the coatings. It may also be an indication that the car had been scratched.
When inspecting a car for rust or paint damage, the buyer must first make sure the doors, hood and compartment are all closed. Check all sides to ensure everything aligns without any ripple. To check if there is existing paint damage, look for any swirl marks. Typically, paint damage starts when owners clean their vehicles with a dirty or dry cloth that is not safe for paint, creating micro-scratches.
Moreover, always inspect a vehicle in broad daylight. Dim lights may affect the overall appearance of a car and may lessen the visibility of physical damage. Hence, it often helps to scrutinise the paintwork out in the sun because a slight chance on a car’s shade can be an indication of a repaired bodywork.
3. Frame Issues
Frame damage, also known as structural damage, is when a vehicle’s structural integrity is compromised. Typically, this is caused by a collision with an object or another car. While it does not always suggest significant damage, a dent in a critical portion of the car makes driving unsafe.
Here are a few ways to check whether the used car has sustained frame damage:
- Check whether there are any visible dents or damaged car parts.
- Take it for a test drive to observe any abnormalities, such as strange sounds and poor alignment that may be signs of frame damage.
- Look out for uneven tyres or suspension wear.
- Ask the seller directly whether there have been any frame issues with the car which might compromise safe driving.
4. Under the Hood and Interior Electronics
The next thing to do is pop open the hood and check for a few things:
Engine Leakage: Check around the engine for leaks; thick and slippery, brown or black liquid or stains under the vehicle may be the signs of an engine oil leak. Other fluids, such as aircon coolant (also known as “antifreeze”), may also leak, leaving green, pink or yellow stains.
Measure Oil Level: Measure the oil level with the engine turned off. Pull out the dipstick and check the oil level, ensuring the oil reading is at the correct level without any discolouration or the appearance of a wrong texture. Be sure to examine any connectors for dirt and grime coating, a sign of a poorly maintained vehicle.
Head Gasket: A head gasket prevents coolant or engine oil from entering the cylinders. If there is a thick white or light brown sludge, it may be the result of a blown head gasket. Walk away from the purchase at that point, as a pre-owned car gasket can indicate many other damages.
Radiator: Test the engine to determine if it has a faulty radiator. Some common symptoms of a faulty radiator are a leak, poor heat inside the cabin and overheating. Before buying the car, it is best to check with the car dealer on the condition of the radiator.
Test Drive: A short test drive can give you a lot of information about the vehicle’s condition. Inspect the interior from the lights to the air con to other electrical components such as the audio system and central locking.
5. Tyre Condition
Having the perfect tyres are essential for a car, as they provide the grip and traction for a safe ride. They also help to dissipate heat, which is necessary for braking.
Check the tread and sidewall of the tyres for any cuts, cracks or bulges, as these could cause a blowout. Make sure they have sufficient tread depth. The legal minimum in Singapore is 1.6mm; therefore, having, at least, 3mm will be ideal, ensuring a safe ride even in wet weather.
Moreover, if the tyres are worn down unevenly, this indicates that the car has been driven improperly or there is an issue with the suspension. Uneven tyres can be more severe, such as a problematic chassis aligned to conceal the issue. The compromised chassis may work against the direction of the wheel, where tyres experience an abnormal amount of force. Therefore, even if the car drives straight, the driver will observe uneven tyres wear over time.
Lastly, it is always a good idea to have a look at the tyres to see if they are free from gashes or bumps. Tyres must be in good condition to provide safety for the driver and passengers.
A car’s mileage is the number of miles or the average distance a vehicle has travelled on a specified quantity of fuel. The average mileage ranges from 120,000km to 150,000km, or about 12,000km to 18,000km annually.
The mileage below or above the average can be an issue. It could be that the previous owners seldom drove it, which raises doubt about the car’s condition unless the dealer approves the car to be ideal.
Generally, it is possible to tamper with mileage numbers. Look for signs of wear and tear to see if the car’s interior matches the mileage. However, a high car mileage does not necessarily mean it is in poor shape. Choose a reputable, customer-centric pre-owned car dealer in Singapore to facilitate through the whole buying process.
A car enthusiast looks after his/ her vehicle so extraordinarily that the upholstery of the car stays new for years. Assuming the upholstery is in bad condition, one can say the car has not been well-maintained, which may affect the car’s mechanical system.
The condition of a car’s interior indicates whether the mileage is genuine. For example, a vehicle with mileage less than 50,000km should almost have a new interior. But if the mileage is low yet the interior looks tired and worn, that is a red flag!
Check for any indication of fraying seams, obvious rips or tears in the car’s upholstery. Cigarette burn marks from previous owners might be present, too. Look at the roof lining to ensure it is not sagging and look for any dents in the interior. While damaged upholstery would not cause any driving issues but can be an eyesore to some car owners. Therefore, check through the car before making a purchase.
8. Mechanical Inspection
In Singapore, if the car is more than three years old and less than ten years old, they are inspected every two years.
The inspection regime ensures car owners maintain their vehicles regularly to meet roadworthiness and emission standards. Furthermore, to pay for annual car road tax and pre-owned car insurance in Singapore, the car owner must send the vehicle for inspection. In other words, this inspection is mandatory in order to drive a car in Singapore!
That said, regular servicing is still required to maintain the vehicle’s upkeep. A routine check-up of the car includes checking for oil levels, brake and coolant fluids to keep the vehicle in its perfect condition.
Check with the dealer if the car has undergone regular mechanic inspection.
Two Most Significant Factors to Consider When Buying Pre-Owned Cars in Singapore
To ease the process of buying a pre-owned car in Singapore, find a reputable car dealer. The driver should as well observe the car for visible damages and ask the dealer in case of any queries.
Car World Automobile Pte Ltd provides the best experience to their clients, facilitating them to buy a car that is budget-friendly and reliable.
Contact Car World Automobile Pte Ltd or visit the showroom! Car World’s experts have extensive experience with Korean, Japanese and Continental cars, providing the best options to their customers to get them their dream cars.