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Are you looking to purchase a new car? Perhaps you are looking for a vehicle to add to working fleet? Or you want to surprise your child who has just gotten their driver’s license with a vehicle of their own.

Marketmeri offers you the perfect site with many options to choose from. Sedans, utes, SUV’s and the list goes on. If the vehicle is new, meaning less than a year on the road or an average of less than 10,000Km mileage, the less concerns you will face about vehicle problems.

Second-hand or used vehicles are a different story. You have to make sure that you are in fact getting value for your money. Here is a quick checklist of things that every potential buyer of used vehicles should check and do in order to protect themselves from being ripped off.

Before you even have a look at the vehicle you should do some research, online and if you can - ask car dealers or mechanics for reviews on the vehicle you are interested in. You should also compare prices to see if you are getting a good price compared to what is in the market. You should always ask for the service records and any other paperwork first to ensure that the person selling you the vehicle is the legal owner. You do not want to have to deal with the law and perhaps some angry tribesman later.

Body Condition
A body in good condition is telling of how well a car is kept. Check to see if there are any dents, if the doors are in good working condition and if the upholstery is relatively clean and odour free. If there is excessive rust or there are many dents that do not correlate with the age of the vehicle this is already a reason for concern.

1) Engine Condition
Everyone appreciates a vehicle that looks good, but nothing is worse than a car that doesn’t run as good as it looks. Just because the body looks good - it does not mean the engine is in good condition. Every potential buyer would be wise to do a thorough check of the engine or else be prepared to face expensive hetpen in future.

2) Preliminary Checks
If possible bring an independent mechanic to look at the vehicle with you.
  • Take a look AND a smell at what is beneath the hood.

  • Is there signs of rust or dirt?

  • Is there a smell of coolant, oil or fuel? If yes take that as a bad sign. Reconsider.

  • Look at the battery. Do the terminals look clean? If it is wet cell, how clean is the top? When was the battery last replaced?
    Corroded terminalOil check
    Above: Corrded battery terminal | Source: Wikimedia    

  • Check the oil. Is it clean under the cap? Any carbon deposits are not a good sign.
  • Check the oil, using the dipstick. Is it the oil the correct colour? Is the oil clean?

  • Casually check to see if there are any leaks under the vehicle.

  • Check the mileage. Does it look within reason compared to the age of the vehicle?

3) Ask for them to start the car.

  • Is there smoke?                                    Above: Dipstick oil check | Source: Luke Air Force Base

  • Is there a smell?

  • Did it struggle to start?

4) Ask for them to keep it running for at least 30 seconds. Then ask them to turn it off.

  • Check for any leaks under the car or smells of oil, coolant or fuel.

    Above: Oil leak on cement | Source: Wikimedia

5) Ask for a test drive

  • How does the steering feel? Brakes? Clutching okay?

  • Listen carefully as you brake, change gears. Any sounds that are concerning?

  • Look at your dashboard, are the electronics are working?

  • Ask your mechanic for his opinion.

After you have done these checks and are satisfied that the vehicle is in good running condition, it is recommended that you take time to think before you hand over your hard earned money.
For more information on what is available in the PNG market, check out Marketmeri.com or email [email protected] or call Marketmeri Support on D: 747 002 43 or B: 752 648 87

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