Buying a used car could save you an absolute fortune over purchasing a new model. Around 40 million used cars are bought and sold each year, so you’re not alone. With so many choices available, how do you go about choosing the right car for you and what are the extra details you need to be aware of when it comes to buying a used car?
If you are in need of some valuable advice, we have put together a short guide with all the information you need to know about what to look for in a used car and how to go about purchasing one.
1. Car loans can be taken out for used vehicles
It’s often an overlooked notion that used cars can also be paid for by a car loan in the same way as brand-new cars. This would be hugely beneficial if your current vehicle has broken down and are need of immediate funds to replace it, or the car you desire is being sold at a reduced price that you just cannot refuse. What’s great is that there is no fee when it comes to applying for the loan and you’ll receive a decision as to whether you’re eligible in no more than 30 seconds. Find out more about completing a CarFinance Review.
2. Where to purchase from
There are many ways to purchase a used car, such as buying from dealers, privately or online. If you have never bought a second-hand car before and are in any sort of doubt, the most secure way would be to go through a professional trader. The benefits of this are that cars are likely to have had a proper inspection and hold a good warranty (usually between 6-12 months).
Buying online has never been more popular but comes with its own risks. It’s unlikely you’ll get a chance to view the car before committing to purchase or meet the seller, which would always be advised. You will most likely be expected to pay a non-returnable deposit before you arrive, so regardless of whether you decide to purchase it once you arrive, you will have already had to pay out a small fee. If you can’t travel to the destination where the car is being sold, there are shipment carriers which can be hired to transport the vehicle to your door.
3. Check the vehicle history
Unless you’re buying a car from friends or family, it would be wise to investigate the car’s history with a vehicle history report. This step is essential, so you’re aware of any previous damage before you make the decision to buy the car. Failing to do this may lead you to choose a car which could cause you years’ worth of trouble and repair costs. There are a number of websites to check a car’s history report which reveals vital information about the car; including whether the odometer has been tampered with and if it has a salvage title, meaning it has been declared a loss by the insurance company.
4. Test-drive the car
If you do decide to visit the car before purchasing, always make sure you take a test drive. This will help you decide whether it’s the right make and model for you and allow you to gain insight into whether it runs properly. Some aspects to also take into consideration are the age and tread of the tires, whether you smell gas or burning oil and if there happens to be any leaks or steam coming out of the bonnet upon lifting it. All of these are signs that damage has occurred, or replacements need to be made.
If you do like the car but aren’t too clued up on whether the vehicle is in good working order, it would be a good idea to hire a mechanic to carry out an inspection for you. Most dealerships will let you borrow the car during the inspection process, but of course, this will come at a price.
5. Try and get a deal
No matter where you’re buying a car from, there will always be the opportunity to try and knock the price down. Some sellers will be open to negotiation to try and seal a deal. Be positive and view it as a challenge – you may be surprised at how much cash you could save. If you do happen to spot any issues with the car, alert the dealer and inform them that you would expect these to be taken into consideration when it comes to the final price.