Five top used car buying tips
Get the price right
Before arriving at the dealers, do a little research to see if the car you’re interested in is priced right. Search online for cars of the same age, condition, mileage and those with similar extras. This basic info can help when it comes to negotiating, or if you happen to spot a similar car on the lot.
Save yourself a journey
You can find out plenty about a car before you even get to the forecourt. First, head to the DVLA and see if the car you’re interested in has an up-to-date MOT – all you need is the registration. You can also pay to have an online history check, which will reveal all the secrets of your potential new car – including any outstanding finance left on the vehicle.
Have a good look
Just like you do when you rent cars on holiday. When you get to the dealers, walk around the car, check the bumpers and doors for any ‘modifications’ – scratches, dinks and dents. Is it the same colour all over? Any rust spots or chipped paint. An extra minute or two here could save you lots of hassle further down the road.
Make sure the numbers match
Always check that the mileage shown on the ad matches the mileage shown on the car dash AND matches the mileage written in the service history. Before you get miles away…
Get behind the wheel
You don’t need to drive far. Twenty minutes in town, and a short trip on a motorway will give you a real feel for what your next potential car is like to live with.
Go through every gear, including reverse, up and down. Check the wipers work and get someone to look at the lights
Turn the radio and air-conditioning off and open the windows to ensure there are no unusual road noises… If the clutch is super stiff, or rather feeble, walk away. And test the brakes, including the handbrake.