Whether you’re looking for a used model because your child has just passed their test or even if you just fancy a change, this guide will tell you everything you need to know. It’s important that you’re careful whenever looking at second-hand models as it is possible to get a bad deal. In this article, we’re going to provide you with some handy tips that are guaranteed to ensure you spend your money wisely. Of course, we can’t cover everything here today, and so it’s always a good idea to use some common sense. That said, the chances of you buying a dud are pretty slim if you follow our advice.
At the end of the day, you want something affordable and reliable, right? There are lots of cars available on the market today you could choose. It all depends on what you hope to get out of the vehicle. It’s even possible to get a second-hand electric car if that idea sounds appealing. Likewise, high-quality vehicles like the Toyota Corolla come down in price considerably when you purchase used models. That should have got your attention being as they’re one of the best selling cars of all time.
Image Credit: Roman Soto via Flickr
Without any more delays, let’s take a look at some of the best tips we can offer…
Before you do anything else, it is important that you research your chosen model online. That is the only way of finding out about average prices, and any common issues the vehicle might experience. With that information, you should have the ammunition needed to negotiate a good deal. If you can find similar cars for lower prices online, there is nothing stopping you from printing out the information and taking it along to your viewing. The seller can’t argue if you present them with black and white facts.
Presuming you’re going to purchase a model from a second-hand dealership rather than a private seller, it’s possible to research them online too. If they have a history of selling dodgy overpriced cars, you’ll soon find people talking about it on the internet. There are lots of websites that publish reviews and testimonials from customers who’ve purchased from any kind of business. All you have to do is find the appropriate information and read through it. Of course, there are always going to be a few unhappy customers, but if they total more than 20% of all the reviews you read, it’s probably a good idea to look elsewhere.
Some of you will be lucky enough to have friends with qualifications in car mechanics. Still, those who don’t can still take one along for the viewing by having a word at their local garage. You might have to pay a fee for their time, but it will be worth the extra expense. Trained mechanics know all the tricks in the book, and so they are best placed to spot any issues or discrepancies. You should always listen to their advice. If the mechanic tells you not to buy a car, you will be a fool to go against what they say.
You should never purchase any car without first taking it on a test drive. Ideally, you want to let your mechanic drive the car for a while before jumping in the driver’s seat yourself. Doing that will give him/her chance to make a proper assessment of the vehicle. If there are any strange noises like knocking or rattling, your mechanic will be interested in getting to the bottom of the issue. So long as the car provides a smooth ride, and your mechanic is happy, things should be looking pretty positive.
Some less than honest sellers have been known to alter the mileage displayed on their car’s dashboard. That is called “clocking.” For that reason, you should always make sure you check the amount of miles your chosen car is displaying. If it doesn’t seem consistent with the age of the car, it might be worth performing a further inspection. Again, your mechanic will be in the best position to offer a conclusion. If it seems the seller is up to no good, you should walk away immediately. At the end of the day, if the seller can deceive you about one thing, who knows what else they might be hiding.
You should always ask to see all paperwork associated with a car before you shake on a deal. Even if the car seems perfect and your mechanic gives you the go-ahead, there still might be some issues you’re yet to discover. At the very least, you need to ensure the registration number, and the chassis number match those displayed in the paperwork. Also, you should check the name and address of the current owner is the accurate. If you notice anything that looks dodgy, you should simply say your goodbyes and look for something less risky.
These days, performing an HPI check on any vehicle is as simple as entering a registration number into an app on your smartphone. Considering that, you should always perform a check before you hand over any cash. If you find out further down the line the car has outstanding finance, you could lose it. You could also lose all the money you invested. Some services allow you to perform HPI checks for free, while others charge a small fee. Whichever service you use, it’s vital you get a check done as early as possible to avoid wasting time.
Now you’ve had time to read through all those tips, you should be ready to go out and find a good second-hand car over the next few days. As we said at the start of this post, there are a million and one ways sellers can deceive you, which is why it’s important you always use common sense.
Good luck! We hope you find the perfect model soon!
Dylan is a writer, business owner and entrepreneur with a technical background and experience in internet marketing.
Jul 16, 2013 1
Oct 25, 2013 1