3 min read

Car Insurance for Used Cars: How to Buy a Second Hand Car?


February 17, 2023
It’s no secret that nowadays things are getting more and more expensive, which is the reason why many people would rather buy second-hand items which are value for money rather than splurge on brand new goods. It’s also important to note that you can get car insurance for a used car. A policy will protect your vehicle from financial loss in the event of an accident, theft, damage or third-party claim.
Explore these top tips from Auto & General as we outline some points to consider when buying a used or second-hand car. 
How to buy a second-hand car the right way
Many people would opt for buying a used car rather than a new one for the obvious advantages: it offers lower prices, a slower depreciation rate and the fact that it offers great flexibility in affordability and availability. You can also get affordable car insurance, just take a look at the car insurance policy options offered by Auto and General car insurance. 
However, looking for the perfect used car can be a complicated and daunting process. If you don’t know what to look out for. You could buy a problem vehicle that costs you extra money you didn’t anticipate spending. It’s even worse for a person buying a car for the first time as they have not been exposed to cars and therefore wouldn’t know what to look for in a car during an inspection.  Also, unscrupulous salespeople may take advantage of your naivety and sell you something impractical and expensive to maintain.
To help you avoid these pitfalls, we’ve compiled a list of the top things to look out for when you’re out used car shopping: 
1. Roadworthy. All cars have to pass a roadworthy test, so first things first, always check that the vehicle you are interested in has a roadworthy certificate[2], however, don’t take the word of the seller, ask to see it.
2. Confirm important details. Check that the vehicle has got its identity numbers, every vehicle has three of these; the identity number, the VIN (engine) and the chassis number.
3. Service history. Ask to see the vehicle’s service history. This is to check if the car has been going for regular services – if it has, it’s a sign that it’s in good condition. Also, check to see if it has a warranty and how long this will last
4. Accident history. Inspecting the bodywork, checking to see if the car has been in any accidents. Do this by running your hands on the car, checking for misaligned body panels, checking for different coloured panels, mismatching paintwork, and cracks and/or chips.
5. Check the engine of the car. You’re looking for leaks, damaged pipes or cracks of any sort. If you don’t know anything about car engines, it’s a good idea to take somebody who does. Look out for any leakages, breakages and/or corrosion of the engine and any other signs of wear and tear. Inspect the condition of the fan belt, the cam belt, and the timing belt – these should look solid, fresh and supple, and not old and dry, as it means they are at risk of snapping. The cost of replacing these could run into thousands of rands.
6. Check the interior of the vehicle. This means you must look at the seats, dashboard and the centre console. You want to ensure that everything is working properly and still in good condition – rips and tears should ring alarm bells. If you spot something not in order, raise it with the seller immediately.
7. Test drive the vehicle. Take the car out for a test drive. When you get to do this, pay particular attention to the following; brakes - are there any noises as the disc brakes could be worn? Do emergency stops, swerve side to side, and listen out for unusual sounds or rattles. Turn the radio off and drive really slowly, stopping and going to also see how the car responds.
8. Confirm the seller’s contact details. If it’s a private sale, check that the contact details are not advertising more than one car; this could signify a person running a dealership. Also, do a background check of the previous owner to ensure they are legitimate. 
Once you have thoroughly checked your second-hand car and are confident that you wish to buy it, be sure to document every defect you have picked up, as this will help you when the time comes for you to negotiate the price of the car. Also, this will help you to avoid buying a car that looks good from the outside but is actually troublesome.
Car insurance for used cars
Yes, it is possible to get car insurance for used cars. Many insurers, like Auto & General, offer policies specifically for used or second-hand vehicles. They will calculate the premium based on factors such as the car's age, make and model, its condition and the policyholder's driving history, for instance. When getting car insurance for used cars, you can rest assured that you will get the same quality of coverage as you would for a brand-new car. Find out How much car insurance cover you really need. 
Get second-hand car insurance from Auto & General
Once you have purchased your second-hand car, you can contact Auto and General Car Insurance. We offer quality service that is reliable and affordable, and we do offer used car insurance with all the same benefits and qualities that we offer to new car owners. Get a quick and hassle-free car insurance quote online. 

Featured content