Oodle Car buying tips article

October 28, 2019

1 Buy at three, sell at five


As most car finance deals run for three years, there are always plenty of three-year-old cars to choose from. And if you know what to look out for, you could drive away with a proper bargain. 


Five years is generally regarded as when expensive, big fixes start to creep in. So selling before these start to appear is a good idea.

2 First, get your budget sorted


Set a budget and stick to it. If you need a great way to find out what your maximum spend could be, use the Oodle calculator here to figure it out.

3 Shop around online


If you already know what car you’re after, head online first and find out which one you can afford. Alternatively, if you haven’t decided, check out what your budget could get you on a couple of car sites before visiting any dealer.

4 Keep your eyes peeled


You don’t need to be an automotive expert, but learning to ask for a couple of essential documents should help you get your next perfect vehicle. Like checking to see if the car has an up-to-date service history and V5C logbook, and that the mileage in the log book matches the mileage on the dials.

5 Be nosy


Test and try out everything. Open and shut all the doors (not forgetting the boot) and see if all the windows work, all the way up and all the way down. The same goes for the air con and the in-car entertainment too. Your dealer will expect this sort of behaviour, so don’t be shy!

6 Take it for a spin.


Get the keys and take your potential new car for a proper ride. You don’t need to go miles, but going through all the gears is definitely recommended. 


Listen out for – rattles when the engine starts from cold. Any crunching or whining when changing gears. And road noise, which could be from worn tyres or windows not shutting properly.


Look out for – excessive smoke from the exhaust and excessive vibrations when you use the brakes.

7 Make sure it has all the wheels


Not just the ones at each corner. Check under the boot floor to see if the spare wheel and repair kit are included, the original jack and tools, plus locking alloy wheel nuts, the vehicle handbook and spare keys.


Finally, make sure you complete all of your checks before you leave the dealer.

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