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10 tips to consider when buying a car.

Updated on August 26, 2013

my tips.

The following tips are by no means from a professional sourced, just what I consider are important to me and if any of them of of use to you then this will have been worthwhile.

I have always bought second hand except on one occasion and I feel that in these times of financial uncertainty every pound counts!

#1. Exchanging your old car.

If you are planning to use your old car as an exchange at a motor sales, make sure you have all the documents at hand make sure the car is tidy and cleaned and ideally a current MOT certificate ( whether you are trading in or just selling a full MOT is worth £400 pounds.)

Be truthful in all aspects as once the car is gone, you don't want to be dealing with it again.


#2 Buying from a trader.

There are many good deals out there at the moment from traders wanting to sell you cars, but do beware, they are trying to make a deal themselves and check they are reputable as in these times it is all so easy to get carried away by what appears to be a good deal spun to you by a smart dealer.

Do check their conditions and beware of the small print - Sold as seen. This as it says means what it says

eg; My friend bought a renault from a dealer who after the deal was done, paperwork was done, keys handed over. As he was walking to get in the car he realised he only had one key, and returned to the showroom to be told the car only came with one key and that he had accepted the car and associated items under sold as seen. The second key cost over £100 pound as it was a key card- no wonder it was subject to sold as seen. You can bet everybody was told about that car sales!


#3 Buying from an auction.

Good deals can be had from auction either real or online auctions.

The car auctions really are an experience to go to as cars move so quickly and at some really silly prices, but please be aware when you have bought it you have bought it- definatly take someone with you who knows what they are doing

With online auctions you must always make an appointment to look at the car and always at the sellers property, either home or their premises. Never arrange to meet at a pub car park, motorway stop or anywhere like that as this in my books would be very suspicious!

#4 What fuel?

whilst you are thinking about what car to invest in, consider what fuel your proposed car would run on. Be prepared to pay a little bit more for a car that runs on diesel or gas as fuel consumption is less and it is better for the environment making it cheaper to tax. In some cases the insurance group is slightly different.

#5 first looks.

You have made an appointment to view a car, it is just what you are looking for and you are stood looking at it. Walk around it and observe the areas you look at as if it was your own. work from top to bottom checking the window screens for cleanliness and any marks. General cleanliness of the exterior, condition of tyres and wheel rims- any damaged rims could mean the car could have been run up or, scraped along kerbing.

#6 check oil and water

Do check the oil and water, if the oil is sludgy it could mean engine problems, and if the engine compartment is generally clean, it has been reasonably cared for.

#7 Sit inside

Ask for a test drive and sit inside and check around for wear and tear, worn carpets around the pedals and wheel arches show signs of high usage. Switch the ignition on and check all the operations. If there is a radio- try it, electric windows, electric mirrors, cigarette lighter check them all. It is no use having a window if it doesn't open! check the mileage. High mileage ( over 12,000 per year) is okay provided it is supported by some service history.

#8 test drive

Take the car for a test drive -use indicators, horn etc. Make a mental note of any strange noises and ask about them.

#9 Documents.

Ask to see all the documents for the car ie, MOT certificate, v5 registration documents and any service history. It is a good idea to check if the cam belt has been changed and when-this can be at 70-80,000 miles or any multiples of this, as if the cam belt goes it could be really expensive!

#10 making the offer.

If you are happy with all the above points on the car, make an offer.Remember the asking price will always become flexible, but if you are making a lower offer say why, this will give your offer credibility.

Important always pay cash- it's a better bargaining tool!

In conclusion.

Buying a car is a minefield, but as long as you are up front and can justify a lower offer you should be driving away in it.

But remember;

If you have any doubts or you are unsure about something- walk away as there will always be as good a deal around the corner.

Happy hunting!

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