5 Things to Remember When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car can seem like the perfect option when you’re looking to save money on your new ride. However, there are a lot of things you need to beware of before you buy. What may seem like a great investment can often end up costing you thousands in repairs. So if you want to make sure you’re making a wise purchase, below you’ll discover 5 of the top things to consider.

Buying A Used Car

Image Credit: Rich Nacmias

1. Make sure it comes with proper documentation

When you’re buying privately, it’s essential to make sure the car comes with all necessary documentation. Why? Because if it doesn’t, the car could either be stolen or the sellers could be hiding its actual condition. The AA has a great list of documents you should ask for when buying a used car. Just two of the things you need to check include that the registered document has the appropriate watermark and whether or not the seller is the registered owner of the vehicle.

2. Is it insured and how much will the insurance be?

Of course, you can’t drive the car if it isn’t insured. Some sellers decide to leave the car uninsured if they’re selling it and it’s only just ran out. So double check whether there’s insurance left on the vehicle or whether it’s something you’ll need to sort out ASAP.

It’s also a good idea to be aware of how much the insurance is going to cost. Has the car been modified in any way? If you’re buying a fancy sports car at a knocked down price, could you afford the potentially high insurance that comes with it?

3. Do you have breakdown recovery?

When buying a used car, there’s a higher chance that things could go wrong. The seller may have misled you about the condition of the vehicle for example. Having breakdown cover gives you peace of mind. You know you’re protected if the car does decide to suddenly stop working and you could save a small fortune on recovery and call-out costs.

4. Ensure it gets a proper service and oil change

When you buy a used car, one of the first things you should do is have it serviced. Even if the seller has told you it’s only just had one, it’s still worth getting a second opinion. The seller could have taken it to a friend, or they may have been lying about having the service. Ensuring it has a thorough service by someone you trust will reassure you and potentially save on high repair bills in the near future. An oil change is also recommended.

5. Always check for safety

One of the main things you should be concerned about when buying a used car is safety. Do all of the seatbelts work properly? Are the tires in good condition? Inspecting the vehicles safety is an essential part of the inspection process you should carry out before buying any used vehicle.

Overall these are just 5 things you need to think about. If you don’t follow the above advice, you could soon end up regretting your decision to buy.

Wilko is a full-time motoring journalist with an obsessive interest in all things automotive.