During your student years is when most people get their first car; I only recently got one myself. For the majority of us, our first car will usually be a used one but there are potential risks when you buy previously owned vehicles. It’s important that you get a car check before committing to a car. Don’t think with your heart but with your head. Here’s what you need to consider:
Before you think about which car you will buy, you have to set your budget. If you already have a car, determine how much it is worth and if you sell it privately or exchange it with the dealer.
If you are going to borrow money to buy the car then before you look at cars you should shop around loan quotes. This way you will be able to know what you can afford and if any financing a dealer offers is a good value or not.
Before you purchase a car it’s important that you check insurance quotes, tax rates, fuel and cost of potential repairs.
Inspecting the Car
When you go to view the car either at a dealership or private location, don’t feel under pressure to make a quick decision. It’s a big purchase and it takes thorough inspection and deep consideration. You don’t have to be a Car checker to thoroughly inspect a used car, but here are a few rules to remember:
- Don’t view in the rain or at night. You won’t be able to properly check the condition of the car. You want to be able to see the vehicle clearly and from every angle to guarantee you’re not missing scratches, dents and other issues.
- Get a Car check to establish if the car has been written off, been stolen, has outstanding finance, has been in a serious accident, etc.
- Examine the car’s document including logbook, serious history and previous Mot check.
- Check the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at the base of the windscreen to make sure that it matches the logbook.
- Look for rust, mismatching paint, uneven gaps between body and panels and windows.
- Make sure all the cars features work.
Before you settle on a deal, check the cars identity by going to theDVLA website and check that these details match the ones that the seller has given you:
- Year of Manufacture
- First registration date
- Engine capacity
- Expiry date of tax disk
- Tax rate (vehicle excise duty rate)
If the car is three years old or more then there is a series of annual MOT certificates. You can Check mot history online or by telephone by using its registration number and the MOT rest number of the V5C registration certificate. This will tell you the date of mileage readings, previous rests and any reasons for malfunction.
Private Car Check
This is not essential but it will give you peace of mind before you strike up a deal. It will cost additional money but by obtaining a car check or data check it will tell you if the car has been stolen, in a serious accident, the correct mileages and if there is outstanding finance on it.
This is the one of the most exciting part about buying a new used car and also the most important.This is your chance to assess every aspect of the car, including how it feels on the road, how it feels to you, and to make sure that everything works, as it should. Remember these tips:
- Test drive for at least 15 minutes
- Test drive on different type of roads
- Start the car when the engine is cold and check for unusual noises or smoke
- Check the gears, lights, brakes, steering and suspension
There are great bargains to be had out there on used cars. But that being said, if the bargain seems too good to be true – then it probably is. If the price is too low or the mileage is suspiciously low for its year, then proceed with caution.
Buying a used car is often much more practical than buying a brand new car off the lot. As long as you use resources available to you and are thorough about your visual inspection, test drive, car checks and MOT checks, you should be able to find a car that helps your brain and heart compromise on the perfect used car for you.