There many reasons why people buy second-hand cars. They are cheaper, for a start, and when it comes to selling them on, you will get a better resale value for them.
If you want a closer look at why buying a used car is better than buying new, then check out our article that will tell you everything you need to know. If you have already made up your mind, however, then read on. These awesome buying tips also apply to other vehicles. So, whatever you drive or ride, there will be lots here for you to learn from. Enjoy!
Looking At Your Options
Your first step should be to work out what you want. A lot of people start the buying process by deciding they want a particular make or model, but if you have a few different types of car in mind, you will have more success. Now you need to research the car as much as possible. Look at how much it cost to insure, and don’t forget about road tax. You should also look into the car’s safety records. Keep an eye on ConsumerReports.org to see up to date info for recalls of particular models.
It is impossible to know the value of a car without doing some work first. However, once you know where to look it will all become much easier. Look around in used car magazines and local newspapers, or do a search for used cars for sale on an auto trading website. Once you see the prices of the particular model you are after, jot them all down. Look at the year each model was built, the engine size, and the mileage. All of these factors can have a dramatic effect on the asking price. Once you know a rough idea of how much each car costs, you will be in a better position to start approaching a used car seller.
Know your enemy
Used car salespeople have a bad reputation, but in the main this is unjustified. There aren’t many traders that will last for long if they give poor service. However, it is vital that you check up on any company that you are considering visiting. You should check how long they have been in business for, and look online for any reviews. Lots of people are starting to write their reviews of many different services, and it’s an excellent chance to find out what previous customers think. Obviously, this can be more difficult with a private seller. However, in this case, your only option is to visit the other party at their home. Never, ever buy a car from someone without seeing where they live.
Checking the car
Now isn’t the time to pop open the bonnet, place your hand on your chin, and try to look like you know what you are looking at. If you have limited knowledge about cars, then you have three options. Firstly, do a crash course on the make and model, making a note of any common problems you have found out. Secondly, you can ask someone who knows their way around an engine to come with you when you give it a look-over. Finally, you can get a car inspector to look it over for you. Although hiring an inspector will add to your overall budget, being safe in the knowledge you haven’t bought a dud is worth its weight in gold.
Car checking tips
There are a few different things you should be looking at, and they are so important we thought we would give them their own category. First of all, check the mileage. If a car looks old and knackered but only has 5,000 on the clock, it is likely the numbers have been messed with. Don’t just look at the bodywork, either. It might have had a recent paint job, and you will get a better overview if you check the gear stick, seats, and pedal. If they are too worn, you may be being taken for a different kind of ride than you were initially expecting. You should also check all legal paperwork. MOT certificates, tax and V5C certificate, should all be in order and up to date. Make sure to go through the service history, too.
You should always take a car out for a spin. You will need to be insured and bring proof that you are allowed to drive the vehicle. You don’t need to drive too far – around 15 miles should give you a good idea of how it drives – but you should take it through different areas for speed checks. It’s also a good idea to get the seller to drive it for a little way. That way, your full concentration can be on listening out for strange noises. It goes without saying that you should drive carefully. Not only will you avoid an accident, but you just can’t guarantee that the car will be able to brake suddenly. Once you are satisfied, it’s time to move on to the final step.
Negotiating with a used car salesman is part of the game. And it is one that you should play. If there is anything that you have noticed about the car, talk to them about it. Ask them how much it would cost to fix – they may even offer to have it done for you if they have ties with a local garage. Offering to pay for it there and then – with cash – might get you a nice little discount. If they can’t go to a lower price, think about asking them to put it through a MOT or set up the road tax for as part of the sale. If they need to shift the car, they might just do it. If not, you have lost nothing, so it is always worth asking!
So there we have it. This guide should help you get to grips with buying a new car. Always be courteous and friendly with whoever you are buying from, and if it seems too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is. Be safe and sensible, and you won’t have a problem.