If you are looking into buying a car, but you don’t have much money to spare, then you are probably planning to purchase a second-hand model. However, as you may already know to your detriment, buying a used car is fraught with potential pitfalls and problems, many of which only arise once you have brought your new motor back home.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to try and prevent yourself from ending up with a broken-down old banger; read on to find out more.
Do A Background Check
Whether you are buying a used car from a dealer or a private seller, it’s essential that you try and find out as much about the vehicle as you can. If a car has no service history and poor documentation – or documents that look suspicious, as if they may have been forged – then it goes without saying that you should avoid buying that motor at all costs.
Of course, many used cars won’t come with a great deal of documentation, but if you can find one with a detailed service history, then that car may just be the one to go for, depending on its condition.
Don’t Hesitate To Ask
Besides checking through the vehicle’s paperwork, you should ask the seller plenty of questions – don’t hold back. After all, even though the car may be cheap, it’s still a substantial purchase, and it can cost a lot of money to repair if it breaks down.
If the seller seems reluctant to answer questions or proffers vague answers, then this could be a potential red flag. Similarly, if they seem particularly keen to get rid of what seems to be a decent car, then this should also raise alarm bells.
Look For Suspicious Marks
The used car world can often be murky and full of deception. Some cars are stolen and sold, some cars are welded together using bits of other cars in a manner that is neither cosmetically pleasing nor safe, and other cars are repaired using counterfeit parts that will soon wear down.
To make sure the car you are considering hasn’t met any of the fates mentioned above, examine it closely. In particular, look for mismatching tyres and panels, any tell-tale marks or dents, and a damaged interior. A younger car that hasn’t been well-maintained is probably more likely to break down than a model that has been lovingly cared for.
Try The Car Before Buying
Trying the car before you sign on any dotted lines is another must. Even if it’s only a spin around the block, this test drive can alert you to any other potential problems with the car. Getting behind the wheel will also soon reveal if anything is faulty or not working, such as the air conditioning and indicators.
Do You Need A Warranty?
If you are buying a car from a private seller, then you won’t be driving off with a warranty as you would if you were buying a new car or one from a reputable dealer. As a result, you may want to spring for a warranty of your own. Quotezone.co.uk offers a helpful car warranty comparison service, so you can find the ideal policy for your budget.
Don’t Rush Into A Decision
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, always remember that you don’t have to buy any particular car. If something feels not quite right, or if a car is decent enough but doesn’t meet your requirements, you are perfectly entitled to walk away and look elsewhere. Don’t place any pressure on yourself to buy anything other than your ideal budget vehicle.