Top tips for buying a used car

Credit: Unsplash – Steve Harvey

Buying a car is always an exciting moment and buying a used car can be a bit of a worrying moment – ‘Can I trust the seller?’ being one of the major questions we ask ourselves. So, it goes without saying that doing a little research beforehand can pay dividends when forking out such a large amount of money.

I am guessing the average car buyer is no expert and not everyone has a handy mechanic friend or a dad that knows his way about a car motor. That’s why, if you’ve landed on this post, you can take some top tips direct from trustworthy traders and feel more confident about your purchase.

The history of the car and the MOT

There is a lot of knowledge to be gained from looking at the car history and MOT. A car that has been well looked after will have a solid service history dated and signed by the mechanic, the book should be kept in the glove compartment along with other documents like the MOT.

If any gaps are showing in either of the service or the MOT, don’t be afraid to ask the seller why?

Should you feel the MOT looks suspicious, it would be advisable to not go ahead. Do keep in mind though that a car, unused for a period of time, might have not required MOT; in that instance, it should have been registered as SORN (statuary off-road notification).

Ask the right questions

There are plenty of cases that won’t show up on a good service record or the annual MOT certificates and before you part with your hard-earned cash it would be in your best interest to investigate the following:

  • Has the car been in a major accident?
  • Have any important parts of the car been changed? 
  • Has it been repainted? 
  • Has it ever been stolen? Etc.
Credit: Unsplash – Jim Witkowski

Test drive

Taking the car for a test drive is a fundamental part of the transaction. From the drive, you will be able to assess how smooth the engine is. You can check the indicators are working, the horn, the brakes and the suspension. Any credible dealer will offer a free test drive, for example KAP Motors in Brighton has a very rigorous inspection criterion and only sell cars that pass all of their standard checks; they offer a full car history and free test drives which can be booked online.

Bargain and negotiate a deal

There’s a skill required for successful negotiations but by keeping the following themes in mind, you could haggle yourself a better deal. Look out for scratches and dents, check the condition of the tyres, the paintwork and challenge your seller. Remember, they want to sell as much as you want to buy. If you have done your research properly, you will know what comparable cars are being sold for and this will give you a benchmark for a fair price for the car you wish to buy.

Good luck when buying your next car!

Disclosure: Collaborative post


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