A lot of people would rather buy a used car than a new one. There are several reasons for this; the main one being money. You can get a cracking deal when buying a used car, but you can also get completely conned in to buying a pile of junk!
You must take certain precautions when buying a used car because you have no idea of its history.
It’s not an easy task to check a used car, especially if you have no idea what you’re doing or looking for. It’s not only about paying attention to how it looks or sounds, you need to check almost everything from the car’s engine to the seatbelts.
Here are some simple tips when inspecting a used car (to help you avoid being conned)
⦁ Spots, dents or scratches on the car
Look over the whole car in detail. Look for every spot and dent, paying attention to the paint work. If you think it is newly painted, more than likely that means they’ve tried to cover something up (maybe something major).
⦁ The form of the car
Make sure that the car is on level ground before checking it out. This is to ensure that you will be able to clearly check the tyres and to see if there is anything sagging on the car
⦁ Check the tyres
The tyres should be worn evenly and they should match. Look at the surface of the tyre for feathering (bad alignment) – this can tell a lot about a car. Bad alignment can be caused by worn steering/suspension components, the pothole down the street or frame damage.
⦁ Check inside the boot
It should not show any sign of rust, or water entry due to cracks or holes. Wear inside of the boot indicates usage of the car.
⦁ Under the bonnet
When looking under the bonnet, check the hoses, belts and, of course the car engine. You should inspect the car engine for any kind of leak, or corrosion. All the parts under the bonnet must be in excellent condition, without having any sign of rust, dents or damage. Failure to do this could mean some expensive repair work down the track.
⦁ Inside the car
Make sure you have a nosey around the inside of the car and inspect it thoroughly. The seats should be without any tears or rips. The air conditioner must work well, make sure you turn it on to test it out.
Check the mileage of the car – as it will tell you how old the car is.
On the average, a normal driver will drive between 10,000 to 15,000 miles a year; however, this depends on many factors. Remember, cars age by time and mileage. Buying a 10 year old car with very low miles is not necessarily a good thing.
⦁ Test drive
Take the car for a test drive before making a final decision. Driving the car is very important, because you can not only find any errors it has but you’ll also see if the car is a good fit for you. Does it drive well? Is it comfortable? Does everything feel in alignment?
Pay attention to everything, if something seems suspicious, and you can’t get an answer for it, then you can ask someone who knows a lot more about cars than you or search on the internet.
These are the main things to look out for when inspecting a used car. Remember that you must concentrate 100% on checking the car and don’t get distracted by the owner or salesman. Remember they are there to sell the car to you and may not always tell you the complete truth.
If you want a second opinion or have a question that needs answering, don’t hesitate to give us a quick call – we may be able to help save you a few £££ on buying a used car, with one piece of advice.