Purchase of a used car is always a challenging task. Whether you need it for work or for personal use, you should pay attention on many things. For this reason, I decided to do a little reminder to help all those friends who read this.
STEP 1 – MONEY
Sit down and decide exactly how much you can afford, taking into consideration the cost of the whole package. Allow for insurance premiums, road tax, MOT, petrol, repairs and servicing. And while you may be able to snap up a classic, prestige or sports car at a great price, in the long run you’ll probably end up paying out more on insurance, fuel, maintenance and repairs.
Investigate your options thoroughly, look at the different grouping bands so that you keep your insurance premium low, check out the cost of a typical repair and compare prices from different organisations.
STEP 2 – YOU GET WHAT YOU SEE
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people out there, so when going to view a car, ensure:
- You have someone with you to give a second opinion – two pairs of eyes are better than one
- Go during broad daylight – darkness and wetness and can hide a mutilude of sins
- Always meet the seller at their house so you can check they are genuine
- That all documentation tallies up:
- That a private seller’s name and address match those in a Registration Document or log book.
- All the documentation you would expect to find is available such as the Registration Document or log book (V5)
- Receipts for repairs, servicing and insurance records are available
- The vehicle has an MoT certificate (on vehicles over 3 years old)
- Check VIN numbers, registrations, dates, names and addresses and any other details you can cross check
- That the vehicle has a valid tax disk
- There is no outstanding loan on the car, which would make you liable for loan repayments
STEP 3 – TAKE IT FOR A SPIN
Always test drive a car – not just to listen out for strange noises, but to make sure they are no ‘blind spots’ and that the car feel comfortable.
Check the steering, the braking and whether the car ‘pulls’ to one side. How does the engine sound?
TOP TIP: Make sure you are insured to drive the car, either under your own, or the seller’s, policy.
STEP 4 – AN INDEPENDENT VIEWPOINT
If you are confident that the vehicle is in order, it is always good practice to arrange an independent survey by one of the motoring organisations (click here to find out who offers what), and if the seller won’t agree to this, then you have to ask yourself why.
These independent surveys will help find any faults, plus will be able to pin point if the car has been involved in a major accident, then ‘patched up’.
Once the survey has been carried out, you can then decide whether the vehicle is a good buy; whether you need to renegotiate a price..or whether you simply don’t touch it with a barge pole!