Buying a car is one of those decisions that you don’t make every day. Now, most of us are no experts when it comes to buying a car let alone a used one. There is so much more to be vigilant about when it is a pre-loved car. I once bought a Mini Metro (remember those) which looked fine, ran fine but was a write-off at its first MOT. I was left looking up scrap prices and managed to recoup a fraction of my investment. I have been a lot more careful ever since!
Keeping a few basic tips in mind can help you to make a more informed choice and, hopefully, mitigate any risk in ending up with a dodgy motor. Some of them are as follows:
Buy a year old car
Once a car is a year old, or has clocked up 10,000 miles, its price can fall by up to 27% meaning you have to shell out far less if you can resist the lure of a brand new motor. You’ll also find a lot of people trying to sell their cars online once it reaches a certain mileage, so you might be able to find a good deal pretty easily. Just remember to get a quote if you need to ship your new car from another part of the country.
Check the history of the car
Asking the right questions is very important when it comes to choosing a second-hand car. Some of the questions you should be asking are:-
- Has the car been in a major accident?
- Has it ever been stolen?
- How many times has the car changed owners?
- Are all its parts original?
- Has the car been repainted?
Test-drive the car
As I mentioned above, just starting the engine and deciding it’s fine if it starts first time or sounds ‘healthy’ when it is ticking over, is not the best way to gauge reliability or road-worthiness!
Always take the car for a test-drive. It will give you an idea about the smoothness of the drive, you can check minute things like headlights, brake pads, handbrake and things like the electrics for switches and windows.
I actually hate taking test drives because I am always afraid I’ll prang the vehicle but it must be done. A responsible salesperson will ease your nerves whilst pointing out the features of the car and answering your questions. Don’t be afraid to ask about rattles, knocking and anything else you notice that requires an explanation.
Look out for dents, scratches and tyre condition
Good points for negotiation are small things like dents and scratches or the condition of the tyres.
Scratches and dents don’t really do much other than make your vehicle look less pristine. They don’t really have an impact on the engine or the drive.
Similarly, most people replace tyres when they buy pre-loved cars, so that can be a good bargaining point too.
Never give the seller the price they are asking for – at least from the off. Always bargain and try to bring the price down. A good idea would be to do market research to know what similar cars are being sold for in the market.
If you get all of this information, then rest assured you will make the right decision. However, getting accurate information is the tricky part as most sellers try to conceal facts. So in such cases going to a reliable car dealer is a good option.
KAP Motors is one of the most credible car dealers. You can check out KAP Motor’s huge collection of second hand cars at their Brighton Centre. They never conceal facts and every car sold at their showroom goes through a rigorous pre-sale inspection to ensure that the customers get value for what they are paying. So, you won’t be disappointed.
Have you ever bought a second-hand car? What advice would you share?