Whether it’s your first car or you’ve been driving for years, buying a secondhand vehicle can be tricky. A time when you’re scouring around the internet trying to find the best deals, looking into insurance and determining what type of model you want, it can seem like an endless journey.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Buying a used car is easier than you think and can be mastered within a short amount of time. It’s also a great opportunity to find the car of your dreams, that’s no longer sold by retailers.
If you’re still unsure what to look out for when you’re on the hunt, however, this top 5 list will be invaluable in the process:
Compare and Contrast Car Dealers
You want to buy your used car from a reputable dealer – not one that’s selling low-quality cars that are masqueraded as good quality to make a profit. So before you take the leap, spend some time determining who the most reliable, trustworthy and reputable used car dealers are.
You can do this by reading reviews (i.e. through TrustPilot) from past customers and discovering what experience they have in the industry.
Look At The Vehicle’s History
This is a vital step to take when purchasing a used car. During this stage, you can find out if it’s ever been written-off, if there is any outstanding finance on it or if any of the parts are stolen.
Whilst many companies offer these history checks or have already compiled them, it’s still worth conducting one on your own to gauge the full history of the vehicle.
Ask For The Registration Document
Another crucial step, the V5C registration document will inform you of all the past owners. An important document that’s required by the DVLA, all reputable used car sellers should ensure that they have one for each of their vehicles.
Enquire About The MOT
Nowadays, many people don’t have MOT certificates as the information is online. If the used car doesn’t have a physical certificate, go onto the Gov website and seek the information. By doing so, you’ll uncover what the expiry date is and if there are any underlying issues with the car that haven’t been disclosed by the seller – e.g rust.
If they haven’t told you about the last service, you might also want to enquire about this as well.
Check The Vehicle Over and Take it On A Test Drive
Before purchasing the vehicle, it’s critical that you arrange a car viewing and test drive. During this, you can discover how the car runs (pay close attention to the gearbox, engine, etc.), if there is any damage that was not shown in the images, etc. By checking under the bonnet, you can see if the car’s ever been in a road accident and that it has all of the parts it needs to drive smoothly.
Although you can find alloy wheel repair and other aesthetic modifications after you’ve bought it, it’s important that you ensure it’s working functionally before handing over the money.