Buying a used car is a great way to cut the cost of driving, car's are one of the most expensive assets that you will ever own, but by waiting a few years for the price of a new car to depreciate, you can reap the rewards at a much more attractive price tag.
Growing up my Father always had a BMW and this was a tradition he carried forward each time he purchased a new car. They were never brand new, they were a few years old when he purchased them and it was he who taught me that you can still get what you want, even if you don't get it right away.
When buying a used car it is important to take the time to do your research and make sure that you know you are purchasing a sound car.
These top tips below are aspects that we should all consider when we look to purchase a new motor.
What is your budget? Will you be looking to finance it or pay it out right? Get your financial details together before you start viewing so that you know what ££££ you have to play around with, and you can look at cars that fit your price bracket.
Get insurance quotes and check car tax rates before you make any decisions.
Put in brand and model research
Know ahead of time what brand and model you are going to look for so that you can compare price guides, and have the heads up on any known issues or common faults with a particular brand/model.
Only view cars during the day
This goes without saying, as if you view the car after night fall or in adverse weather conditions you will not be able to check the motor out fully and may miss damage to the bodywork or other problems that may be lurking. Make sure you can see the vehicle in it's entirety before moving forward.
All cars need work completing on them at one point or another, so owners of the car should have collected an array of garage bills for work, parts, past MOT Certificates and annual services.
- If there is no service history, ask why.
- Does it look like there is an issue that has not been resolved?
- Does the history correspond with the vehicle in front of you?
V5C Registration document
You should insist on viewing the V5C Vehicle Registration Document, this document shows who the registered keeper is and not the legal owner. This will be able to show you whether the present keeper is in fact the person selling you the car.
The V5C shows all of the details of the previous owners too, so if you really wanted to do your homework you could potentially contact them to find out more about when they owned the car, as previous owners have no vested interest so their comments will be truthful and honest.
If you know the vehicles registration number and have the document reference on the V5C then you can actually check the MOT status and history online right back to 2005.
The test drive is your only opportunity to put the car through it's paces before you decide to make the purchase or not. Driving the car will make or break a deal and is the perfect time to check the car's general mechanical condition and to find out for sure if it's the car for you.
- How does the engine sound?
- Is it jumpy or smooth?
- Is the driving position comfortable?
- Can you operate all of the controls easily?
- Do the child seats fit?
- Does the pushchair fit in the boot?