The used car market can be somewhat of a minefield if you’re not very knowledgeable about engines. For that reason, anyone looking to purchase a second-hand model in the next few months will need to be very careful. You don’t want to spend your hard earned cash on a model that looks good only to find it breaks down the second you drive it away. Buying from the used market usually means you don’t have a warranty, and there is no cover should you make a bad decision. With that in mind, you need the best advice from people who understand how this industry works. There are lots of ways you can limit the chances of something going wrong. So, now is the best time to educate yourself and take precautions.
None of our suggestions are going to cost much money, and you don’t need any expert knowledge. To be fair, most of the best ideas should come down to common sense. Still; it can be easy for you to be a little startled by the sales pitch of a dealer. That can make you forget about the essentials and agree to a deal that is less than perfect.
Take a mechanic along for viewings
As there are so many different issues that could affect the quality of any car you purchase, it’s always sensible to take a trained mechanic along for any viewing you arrange. If you’re lucky enough to have one among your friends and family, it shouldn’t cost you anything to employ their assistance. However, everyone else will have to pay a small fee to their local garage for borrowing a member of staff. Either way, having someone on hand who understands common problems could make your life a lot easier. It will also limit the chances of you being ripped off by less than reputable sellers.
Always test drive any vehicle you might purchase
Test driving is one of the best ways to work out whether an automobile has been looked after. That is especially the case when buying from the second-hand market. As you have brought a mechanic along to the viewing, it will be a good idea to let them get behind the wheel for a few minutes too. You should aim to test drive your chosen car for at least twenty minutes to get a good feel for how it performs. If you notice the steering wheel is pulling to one side or you hear any strange noises, that could be a sign that all is not well. There are lots of articles online that explain how to keep an older car on the road if that changes your decision about making a purchase.
Ensure all the paperwork is in order
All used car sellers should provide you with a logbook for any vehicle they advertise. Also, you want to choose something that comes with a full service history. That should reduce the likelihood of you getting something that has been involved in a major smash. Also, it should help you to work out whether the car in front of you is the one listed in the paperwork. Some sellers will try to trick you into parting with money through underhand means. For that reason, you must read through all the paperwork presented to you before making an offer on the vehicle. If you’re unsure about anything, just tell the seller you need time to think it over. You can then photocopy the paperwork and take it to someone who understands a little more about it.
Perform an HPI check
Occasionally, someone might try to sell you a car that still has outstanding finance. That is completely illegal, and it could land you in hot water. Not only will you lose the car when finance companies catch up with you, but you could also lose your investment. Thankfully, HPI checks are very simple these days thanks to specialist websites and text messaging services. All you have to do is search online to find a reputable car checker and follow instructions. You should get a reply within minutes, which means you can do that whilst stood in front of the seller if you wish. That said; it’s usually wise to perform a check before you leave home to avoid wasting time.
Research average second-hand prices for your model
Nobody wants to pay more than they have to for an automobile. If you visit a seller with no idea about the average price you would expect to pay, they will have the upper hand. There are many websites online that list cars for sale on the used market, and so you just need to take a look to work out how much is acceptable. If you feel a seller is asking for too much cash, don’t be afraid to tell them. Some may not have a clue about average prices themselves, which is why they might have asked for an inflated amount. Others might be trying to rip off unsuspecting motorists.
Work on your negotiation skills
Even if you think the price is fair, you should still try to negotiate wherever possible. You’ll find lots of advice about negotiation skills online, and so there is no excuse for handing over your money without trying to drive the price down. If you’re far too timid to engage in this endeavour, it might be worth taking someone else along who has a little more confidence. For whatever reason, people in the UK have become accustomed to accepting asking prices. However, a bit of negotiation could go a long way.
As you can see, there are a lot of things you need to think about when purchasing a used model. Going into a situation like that without researching prices and taking precautions will almost certainly end bad for you. So long as you follow all the vital advice in this article, you should stand a much better chance of getting a good deal. If all else fails, perhaps it might be sensible for you to save a little more money and purchase a brand new model.