If you are thinking of buying a used car, rather than going for new, there a few things that you need to keep in mind before stepping onto that forecourt. We have put this handy guide together for you to hopefully make your choice an easier one.
How Much Do You Want to Spend?
Your first consideration is almost always going to be cost, so get your budget established first. If you currently have a car, figure out how much it is worth. Will your chosen dealer accept part exchange, or are you going to sell privately? Both of these will also help determine finance, and whether you will even need it.
Pick The Car For You
You are going to be spoilt for choice, make no mistake about that, but be sure that you pick a vehicle that will actually suit your needs not just your budget. How many seats are you going to need, and will you need something with a little more power than a hatchback. This last one could decide if you go somewhere like Saxton 4×4 or just about any car dealer that doesn’t specialise. Admittedly, one will you more choice than the other but again – choose based on your needs.
Of course, fuel costs and insurance will be a factor too so keep everything written down so you don’t lose track.
Speaking With Your Car Dealer
The first time that you make contact with a seller or dealer can turn up some useful information about the car that you are interested. Because of this, asking the right questions becomes very important. Be sure to be thorough about the car and ask about things like its history, including service history and enquire about its condition – even if the mentions these things.
When viewing the car, always do so in the daytime and when it’s dry if that’s possible. This makes spotting possible damage much easier.
Conducting Your First Inspection
There’s no need for you to be a qualified mechanic for this, but keep in mind that are a few ‘rules’ that need to be followed. Make sure you get the history of the car checked – a dealer will already have done this, but if buying privately you need to get this done. If the car is stolen or still under finance, the check will highlight this.
Go through the vehicle documents and MOT certificates carefully. Again, with a reputable dealer this won’t be an issue.
The Test Drive
Assuming that everything is OK, the next big step before agreeing on price is the test drive. This is your opportunity to get a feel for the car and how it performs. Take the car out for at least 20 minutes, and on as many different road surfaces as you can.
Test the brakes, gears and the suspension – everything that you can to make sure they work as expected.
Buying a used car doesn’t have to be risky, and you can’t go far wrong with our guide. Just remember – if any doubt, deal with a reputable dealer instead of privately.
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