Buying yourself a secondhand/used car?

Buying a second-hand/used car can be a daunting prospect for you where you may encounter a lot of pitfalls during the process. To buy your new set of wheels you will be spending your hard earned cash, so be wise, do your homework before you enter the fray!

Always remember if you are buying a car it may be advisable to have it checked to see if there is still finance owing on it. If you purchase a car which still has finance owing, then you will also inherit it’s debt. The finance company could repossess the car even though you paid your good money for it. For peace of mind you could  use a specialist company to check it out: I would recommend This could save you a lot of money!


Before you decide to buy, plan ahead!

  • If you are a first time buyer be aware that owning a car comes with a lot of on going costs.Get quotes on Motor Insurance and how much it is going to cost for Motor tax.
    • Work out how many miles you will drive and what average MPG the car could achieve.
    • If you are borrowing some of the money, get a quote on how much it will cost to borrow.
    • You can get this information on line. Banks and Finance companies show the rates per thousand, depending on the term of the loan.
    • When the dealer quotes you on finance you will know if he is getting good value on your behalf.

Research prices and integrity of the seller!

  • Do as much research on line about asking prices as possible before you attempt to go shopping for your car. This will save you time and money as you will then only go visit the Dealers/sellers who  fit your budget.
  • Be warned a low price does not guarantee good value. If it seems to good to be true, it normally is! ‘Buyer beware’
    • Always view the car in good daylight or  in a well lit showroom.
    • Check for previous crash damage which would be evident from misaligned panels and different paint shades around the bodywork.
    • Ask the seller a straight question: Was this car damaged? If so how much damage did it have?.Some cars get slight damage over the course of their lifetime which may not necessarily be detrimental to the car, but you need to know.
    • Always check the carpets and the rubbers on the pedals for wear. Too much or too little wear could mean the mileage is not correct.
    • Never look at a car in the rain, because when it dries off there may be some scratches and dents which you will have missed.
    • Ask about the Service History and if you could  view the Service History book.
    • Ask the seller could you have the contact details of the previous owner? Previous owners normally  tell the truth about the car’s history.
    • Inspect all of the relevant documents, Registration, NCT/MOT and the owners handbook.
    • A test drive is very important. If you could bring along a Mechanic or a friend who knows about cars, this would be a real help to  you in choosing a good car.
    • Ask the seller what are the warranty terms, and what it covers? Some warranties exclude lots of items. You need to know what is covered as you could end up with a bill for repair soon after buying. If this happens it will certainly put pressure on your Motoring budget.
    • Don’t be pressured into making a snap decision.
    • Don’t fall for sob stories about why they are selling the car.
    • If you don’t feel completely happy, walk away. There will always another one for sale!

You’ve  decided to buy, so agree a collection or delivery date and time!

  • You are about to collect your car now, but before you hand over your hard earned money and drive away:
    • Check around the car  to ensure that all the agreed presale repairs have been carried out to your satisfaction.
    • Check in the boot to ensure that the tools and spare wheel are there.
    • If the car has alloy wheels, make sure the  adapters for unlocking wheel nuts are there (you cannot remove a wheel without them).
    • Have all the agreements regarding warranties etc. clearly written down by the seller.
    • Get all the paperwork signed by both you and the seller. This is critical if any dispute arises later.
    • Beware of anybody who is not prepared to commit the agreement to paper.

Safe driving and enjoy your new car!