How to Buy a Singapore Used Car with No Hassle
With the increasingly high costs of COEs turning new car ownership into a burden, many are considering used car buying as a value-friendly alternative.
Compared to a brand-new vehicle, a used car can indeed offer more. However, going in blind, or basing your purchase entirely on intuition, is not wise. Instead, you should strive to understand as much about the used car buying process in Singapore before you set foot inside a dealership.
Buying a used car in Singapore need not be a hassle! Study the ins and outs of the local market, practice due diligence and approach your future purchase with confidence and caution. Following these steps, it should be more than possible to make a purchase that will bring enjoyment for years to come!
This guide is going to present all the basics that are important to know in order to shop for used vehicles in Singapore with confidence. Read on below for more!
- Familiarity with the Singapore Used Car Market
- Regular Maintenance
- The Importance of a Singapore Used Car Inspection
- The Top Key Elements When Shopping for a Used Car
Familiarity with the Singapore Used Car Market
It goes without saying that a practical education regarding all the practical steps involved in buying a used car in Singapore is a priceless asset if you want to maximize the value of your purchase.
You should make sure that you are fully aware of and understand the intricacies of the COE Open Bid System, the various taxes and insurance requirements for different types of vehicles, as well as the nature and availability of dealerships, financing options, and other parameters in Singapore.
No used car will last long without routine service. Even before making your buying decision, it is a good idea to get a clear picture of what kinds of work might be necessary and how to resolve potential issues.
Consult the section below on some of the most common faults seen on used cars in Singapore.
Servicing High-Wear Components
There are a number of parts in your Singapore used car that are designed by the manufacturer to wear out and be replaced frequently.
The air filter supplying clean oxygen to the engine also needs periodic replacement in order to prolong its life and maximize its fuel efficiency.
All of these jobs are simple enough to be carried out by a layperson provided you are willing to read up on the proper procedures and practice personal safety measures as necessary.
However, nothing can beat the kind of service and care that a professional mechanic can provide. It is rare that only one component needs attention at any point in time.
Mechanics are trained to provide holistic care that is both preventative and long-lasting, which can make even simple procedures surprisingly effective.
Brake Maintenance and Repair
The brakes of your car are an essential component since they do not just control one of the vehicle’s most essential functions, but also guarantee its safety.
Worn-out or faulty brakes put you, your passengers, as well as other drivers and pedestrians at great risk. This is why it is prudent to tend to them before problems arise.
The brake pads are both the simplest component to replace as well as the one that fails most frequently. However, they are not the only potential source of brake failure.
Especially on older vehicles, the brake pump might fail, which can make your brake pedal harder to actuate during emergency maneuvering. This can be difficult to detect when test-driving your Singapore used car under fine weather conditions, making it a serious hazard.
Drums and discs, the most integral components of any vehicle’s brake system, also wear out over the years. Their replacement requires complete disassembly of the wheel hub and is quite an involved job, though neglecting it can prove very dangerous indeed.
Servicing the Clutch
The clutch temporarily severs the connection between the engine and the driven wheels. This is what allows the transmission to shift gears, whether automatically or manually.
Servicing the clutch is an important and frequent maintenance task. This is especially true of cars with a traditional automatic transmission driven by a torque converter, but it also applies to other designs.
Not only does the whole transmission, and in some cases the clutch itself, need to be lubricated with the proper measure of fluids for smooth operation.
Sometimes, the repair or replacement of entire components might be necessary as well.
For example, clutch plates – most models will have one, though some may feature two – usually need replacing after years of driving.
This can be costly, but a broken clutch plate will make it impossible to properly engage the transmission and might even damage other components if put under too much pressure.
Keeping Tires and Wheels in Good Condition
Since they serve as the most vital connection between your car and the road, you should devote a fair share of attention to keeping its tires and wheels in top shape.
The rubber itself needs to be renewed, of course, but you would be mistaken to stop there.
For optimal performance, efficiency, and safety, tires also need to be properly balanced and aligned on the wheel.
This is done by means of specialized equipment which, while straightforward to use yourself, is more readily found at your nearest repair shop than at home.
Wheel bearings might also fail in some instances, making steering less precise and increasing the risk of an accident.
Inspecting and Servicing the Engine
The beating heart of any automobile, the engine is also one of its most sensitive components and requires frequent check-ups and maintenance to function optimally.
Depending on the age of your Singapore used car and the degree of wear on its innards, different measures might be necessary.
For example, harshly-driven cars that have more than 250,000 kilometers on their odometer might require a replacement head gasket or even entirely new cylinder heads.
Conversely, a gently-driven second-hand vehicle with low mileage bought from a reliable dealership might only need a new cam belt.
In the case of designs that employ metal timing chains instead, there is no need for even that – a simple routine check-up, topping up fluids, and adjusting fine tolerances might be all that is necessary to keep the engine going.
Interior and Exterior Detailing
A comprehensive Singapore used car service also includes detailing the bodywork as well as interior upholstery.
Both cosmetic and functional aspects need testing – from the operation of the windshield wipers (many owners neglect to replace the blades, which can leave scratch marks) to the clarity of the headlamp glass and the condition of the paint job.
Since re-upholstering a car interior or repainting the exterior involves a lot of work and expense, a pre-purchase inspection can relieve you of worries when shopping for a high-quality used car in Singapore.
The Importance of Singapore Used Car Inspection
While regular mandatory inspections are an integral feature of car ownership in Singapore, many do not consider moving beyond and taking third-party advice.
A used car inspection does not just assess the roadworthiness, safety, and general performance of your vehicle. It can also give you an idea of future maintenance costs while further serving as an appraisal of its market value.
Far too often are unexperienced Singapore used car buyers swayed by “too good to be true” offers, only realizing after the fact that working with a third-party mechanic could have saved them from a lot of unnecessary expenses and trouble.
And as you have seen above, the hard work that goes into servicing a used car can be quite overwhelming for the average layperson!
This makes a third-party inspection a seriously viable asset to consider when shopping the Singapore used car market.
Of course, the effectiveness of any inspection can only be measured by the knowledge and experience of the person carrying it out. For that reason, we strongly recommend hiring a professional mechanic for the job before you make your final buying decision.
The Top Key Elements When Shopping for a Used Car
In the end, there are two key elements to a sound, informed used car purchase in Singapore.
The first is a well-educated understanding of the needs, requirements, and intricacies of the local market. This is best accomplished through thorough research and consultation with experts.
Secondly, you should also make sure to hire a professional, third-party inspection performed by seasoned professionals.
For both of these purposes, we invite you to reach out to our seasoned experts at Car World Automobile.
With decades of experience dealing specifically with the Singapore used car market, Car World is second to none in providing a shopping experience that is entirely free of hassle and takes care of the most important steps and criteria elaborated on in this guide.