There’s nothing wrong with buying a second-hand car. In fact, it’s the most economical way of buying one. Sure, you don’t get that same ‘new car’ smell, but is it worth it when it devalues the second you leave the forecourt? Investing in a second-hand car is the same as any car though. You’ve got to research thoroughly, read reviews on the make and model you are purchasing and not get swept along with the size of the engine (we’re all guilty of it.)
For this blog, we’ve put together a list of things to watch out for when buying a second-hand car. Don’t get caught out or that money you’ve worked so hard to save will be spent repairing the car you haven’t even driven yet…
1. Vehicle History Check
This might seem like an obvious one but you’d be surprised at the amount of people who hand their money over without insisting on a thorough vehicle history check. Sure, the paintwork is sharp and there’s only 10,000 miles on the clock. But has it been repaired? Is the engine in good condition? A lot can be hidden.
2. Blind Spots
It’s so frustrating when you find your perfect car only to notice that there are several blind-spots in the rear window. A small problem, maybe, but imagine that same blind-spot every time you need to reverse out of a parking space. It might cause problems in the future…
3. The Seller
This one isn’t so much about the car, it’s about the seller. Who is selling the car? Is it a reputable garage? A private seller? What’s their history? And more importantly, are you getting a fair price for the car. You might need to rely on our good friend google for this one. Search the seller and find some reviews. It would be a shame if they were trying it on.
Make sure that the seller has all the correct documents for the vehicle. Remember, this car has been driven before by at least one person so you need to know when its next MOT is, the type of insurance it requires and whether or not it has recurring problems. All of this should be known by the seller.
If the car you’re buying has a very high mileage count, then it’s normally best to avoid it. In general, anything over 100,000 miles on the clock will start to have problems. Even if they are only minor, it could cost you a lot more in the long-run. Sure, the car you’re buying is a brilliant price, but why not spend a bit more so you don’t have to invest in repairs later on? On a side note, any car that looks like the mileage clock has been tampered with, be wary. Some sellers adjust the settings to get a better price.
6. Wear and Tear
Anything that looks suspicious is worth questioning. An unusual paint-job, a dodgy bit of welding or even a complete colour change. You must question exactly why there are these unusual spots on the car’s frame. This may be an indicator of a previous accident or covering up damage that could write the car off completely.
7. Central Locking and other checks
The seller may insist that everything is in working order (or point out things that aren’t) but it’s important to do these checks yourself. Try out the central locking, use the automatic windows and try out the radio. These considered ‘extras’ can bump the price up and it’s even worse if they’re not working.
Don’t get caught out by these used-car problems. Got your car sorted? Join us on one of our rallies this year. Book your place today at www.purerally.co.uk