Advice on Buying
There are two options when buying a used car: buying from a second-hand car garage or a private sale. Both options have pros and cons; for example, you will probably pay less for the car by buying it directly from the previous owner, but is it worth the risk? Buying a used car from a garage is generally considered to be the safer option. Not only do garages offer extras such as a warranty, but also you do not have to worry that the car may be stolen or tampered with. There is no retribution for private sellers if you find out the odometer has been wound back to reduce the high mileage of a car for example. However, a car garage has its reputation to worry about, and can potentially be shut down if they are found selling cars that have been illegally tampered with.
Once you have decided to buy a used car, think about your budget. Remember, there is more than the cost of the car to take into consideration. You need to include the cost of insuring the car, road tax, and any improvements that may need to be carried out. In addition, it is worth working out how much the car you want to buy will cost you in petrol. You can do this by using one of the many MPG calculators available online.
Check an online price guide to get a good idea of the value of the car you are looking to buy. This way, you will be able to pick out the car that offers the best value for money. Remember to take into consideration the mileage of the car though, as this can have an effect on the price.
Once you have found a car you like, you will need to go and view it. However, be careful about the time you choose; you should never view a car at night, when it is raining or in poor light as this could obscure any dents or scratches.
Ask to view all the documentation provided with the car, and ensure it has a service history and all current and previous MOT certificates.
Take it for a test drive, as this will highlight any possible mechanical problems and will allow you to see if it is the right car for you. Also, check the user’s manual with the car to familiarise yourself with aspects such as the security system. Ask the dealer how many keys come with the car. If it does not have a spare key, the replacement could be expensive if it is a modern car.
Finally, before handing over your money, check what is included in the price. If any work needs to be done to the car, agree whether or not the dealer is going to carry this out before you take the car. Before walking away with your new car, make sure you get a receipt with all the details of the car and the sale.