Buying a used car is a good way to save money and still get the vehicle that you want. By carrying out the right checks and doing some research you can ensure that you are purchasing a reliable vehicle.
Some important things to keep in mind when buying a second hand car are:
- Start by researching the make and model of the car you are interested in. Make sure you narrow down your options to a few cars that fit your criteria and fit in your budget to make sure you do not end up overspending.
- It’s essential that you carry out a detailed car history check, the report will provide you all the vital information that you need to make your decision. This includes but is not limited to: MOT history, previous number of keepers, outstanding finance checks, written off check, stolen check, VIN number and much more.
- Physical checks when viewing the car, it is important that if you can take the car on a test drive that you do so, this will give you a chance to listen out for any odd noises and check the brakes and steering that could indicate more serious issues.
- If possible a pre purchase inspection by a mechanic can go a long way in making sure any potential issues are highlighted.
- Match the VIN number on your car history check to the VIN number on the vehicle to make sure it is not stolen, this is an important step and you can find the VIN in various locations on the vehicle.
- Negotiate the price, more often than not sellers are willing to negotiate the price, especially if you have picked up any minor issues in the car you can use those to bring down the price.
- Before paying for the car get a signed written agreement, this should highlight the terms of the sale and any warranties on the car. Make sure it is signed and dated. This is to help protect you should there be any issues after the sale.
- Ensure the vehicle does not have outstanding finance, this refers to when money is still owed by the previous owner on the vehicle. By them not paying their outstanding finance and selling the car, the new owner would be liable to pay for the debt amount. Finance agreements are law binding, so you as the new owner would not be able to get out of paying it off. It is not recommended to ever buy a car with unpaid finance on it. A reg check will reveal the history of a vehicle including any outstanding finance details.
Each check is essential, by having an idea of the number of previous keepers you can understand how well taken care of the car is, more keepers could mean that the car was exposed to much more wear and tear whilst fewer keepers suggests it was more well taken care of. MOT history will show you if it has failed any past MOT checks, this could flag any recurrent issues. Milage data is essential, a car with high mileage has been used a lot which could mean the car is not in the best condition. Discrepancies in the milage will also show in a car check and this could indicate something dodgy going on.
If you find a fault or an issue you are not happy with then it’s recommended to find a different vehicle, however sometimes the sellers are aware and will negotiate a deal with you. By carrying out a car history check you will be able to get a good idea on whether or not the vehicle has a clean past, paired with the essential physical checks. Make sure you follow these tips so you can ensure that you get the best deal possible.