Whether you’re an experienced car buyer or not, purchasing a used car is a troublesome experience. You simply never know what you’re going to encounter. The best thing you can do is arm yourself with knowledge and confidence. Make sure you are prepared for every stage of the process. This simple list will help you get yourself in the right zone for buying a used car. Here are the twelve things you need to know.
Do your research
Before you go near the dealership, do your research. Look at autohouse.co.uk and speak to friends that know about cars. Find out what car you want and how much is a good price for it.
Set a budget
A budget is very important when it comes to buying a car. The price offered isn’t always the price you’ll end up paying. Learn all the extra costs involved with buying a car and budget for them in advance. Don’t settle on a price and be hit with extra costs.
Ask for service history
This will explain the full background of a car’s health. If it looks empty or suspicious, this is cause for concern. You should be looking for regular oil changes and maintenance.
Ask for MOT certificate
Cars are expected to pass an annual health check, or MOT. Ask to see the most recent certificate to ensure you won’t be hit with huge costs later on.
Don’t visit in the dark or while raining
Always view the car and test drive in full light and good conditions. You need to be able to spot any problems easily.
Do a thorough inspection around the vehicle. Search for signs of rust, wear and leaks, especially underneath the car.
Look under the hood
All the car’s nasty secrets will be hidden under the hood. Look out for burning smells, leaks and dirty air filters. Don’t feel intrusive, car dealers will expect this.
Take the car on the road and don’t be afraid to let her rip. Push the car hard and drive it like you would normally. Don’t be pressured into a short test drive. Take as long as you need and try different roads.
The advertised price is rarely a hard price. Go in lower and expect to settle somewhere in between. Remember to take into account any additional costs.
Confirm what’s included
Once the price is agreed, go back and confirm everything in this price. Ensure that you are getting everything you want.
Agree collection and delivery
Before you sign anything, agree on any collection or delivery arrangements. This may come at an additional cost if you wait until after payment.
Get a receipt
Make sure that you take away a full receipt with everything detailed. This should include name of the dealer, terms of sale and an itemised price breakdown.
If you take into account each one of these points, you should walk away happy. You’ll get a great deal on a car and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that it is reliable and healthy. It’s worth the extra effort to do the research and stand your ground. Be thorough and don’t let anything slide.