What to Look Out For When Buying a Second Hand Car

By Nelson Zeeman

The pre-owned market is huge, and a number of consumers get their first taste of car ownership through a second hand vehicle.

That excitement can however, easily turn into a nightmare, as second hand vehicles may in certain cases come with a host of problems. This is why it is important for people to conduct due diligence before purchasing a second hand vehicle.

Sibusiso Dlamini, the Salesperson and Manager at AutoStan Car dealership, located at Sheffield Road, Mbabane, in conversation with this publication gave a few pointers on what people should consider if they want to purchase a good second hand vehicle.

AutoStan works closely with Hyundai, Mbabane Motors, Bank Auctions and private sales from individuals.

Service Report

Dlamini notes that a second hand vehicle should come with history Service report which contains a range of information on a car, including previous owners, mileage readings (Amount of kilometres the vehicle has gone), open recalls and damage, accidents or repairs.

Traceability (Parts of the Vehicle)

He says a good second hand vehicle should have easy access to car parts, which is known as traceability. This generally refers to tracking and tracing each component that comprises every sub-system in a car.

Quality Standards

The Sales Manager notes that even though a vehicle is a second hand one it should still meet quality standards of what new models have. These include, safety, reliability, and quality standards, among others.


Furthermore, he said they have noted that in many cases some people for instance consider affordability over durability which may end up being a costly decision. The durability of the car is a key feature to consider.


Excellent. This means the vehicle looks new and is in excellent mechanical condition.

Very Good. This means the vehicle has minor cosmetic defects and is in excellent mechanical condition.

Good. This means the vehicle has some repairable cosmetic defects and is free of major mechanical problems.

Fair. This means the vehicle has some cosmetic defects that require repairing and/or replacing.

Accident damage report

Dlamini observes that second hand vehicles should also come with an accident damage report damage report summarizes the overall findings from a vehicle damage assessment.

He further advised consumers to contact car dealerships for further assistance when buying a second hand vehicle.

“I would also urge those looking to purchase a second hand vehicle to contact professionals in the space. As AutoStan we have been focusing on the above factors for over 22 years.”

He said as a company they work closely with banks and can enable customers to get car finance for 5 to 10 years depending on the model and brand of vehicle.

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