Buying a used car

Buying a car is a big expense, so think about your needs and options and avoid making hasty decisions.

Find out which model you want and how much you are willing to pay for the car. Check the test results in the car literature and online: compare car models, prices, fuel consumption, CO2 levels, durability, etc.

If there is not enough money to buy a car, it is possible to lease the car or take out a small loan, a consumer credit. You can also buy a car on installments from a private individual or a company that is not subject to VAT.

Evaluate the popularity of the car: When you have chosen a model, you will find out how often cars of this type and age need to be repaired, which spare parts are available on the market, how expensive the repair will be and how this model will start in wintry conditions.

Remember that compulsory motor insurance does not cover the cost of repairing your car. To do this, you should take out comprehensive insurance, the voluntary motor insurance.

If you plan to buy a used car, you should be especially careful not to buy a pig in a poke.

  • Check the seller's background. Check the commercial register to see if a private or legal person sells the car. It is cheaper to buy from a private person, but a court can only resolve disputes between private individuals. You can get information about companies on the Krediidiinfo website, as well as in the commercial register. In the case of a private seller, inquiries online and on some communication portals, as well as Krediidiinfo, may help.
  • Check the car history. In the case of a car from Estonia, check the Traffic Insurance Fund's website for possible accidents. Check the car's data based on the vehicle's factory identification number or VIN code at the respective brand's representative office. Look at the portals of large car markets and compare Estonia's cars with similar ones in the European Union. Avoid so-called special offers made at the point of sale.
  • Check the technical condition of the car. Arrange for the longest test drive possible. To check the condition, it is safest to take the car to the same brand's nearest dealership. When inspecting the car, please pay attention to its general condition, documents, and possible accidents. Monitor the wear level of the vehicle, check the condition of its measuring instruments and other equipment. You should receive all information related to the technical condition of the car in writing.
  • Don't just trust the car's service book, as it may be fake. The car mileage could be evidenced by different cost invoices for service, replaced parts, and repairs.
  • The seller should write everything you have agreed with the seller in the contract.
  • If possible, pay for the purchase by bank transfer so that the transaction will be traced, and possible disputes will be much easier to prove later. Keep track of who is the recipient of the money, whether the person in the contract and the seller are the same. The seller must provide you with a document certifying payment for the purchase of the vehicle.

Last updated: 08.04.2021