We don’t all have the ability to buy a brand-new vehicle, no matter what credit options are available to us from the dealer. We have to consider not only the cost of the vehicle but the additional expenses on top of that such as the car insurance the ever-increasing cost of fuel, MOT and service costs. Add these things together, and we realise just how expensive owning a car is. With all of this in mind, choosing a used car and paying less to begin with often seems like a good idea. However, like anything, there are risks associated with buying a second hand vehicle. A lower price does not necessarily mean better value, especially if you are looking at slightly older models. To ensure that you don’t drive away in something that causes you more hassle and expense than it is worth further down the line, here are some of the questions you need to ask before purchasing a used vehicle.
Can I have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic?
You are perfectly within your rights to ask for the car to be inspected by a qualified mechanic before handing over your hard earned cash, and a respectable seller or used car dealership such as Trade Price Cars should be more than happy to let you do this. Sellers may tell you that the car has recently been serviced and may have the documents to back this up, but for guaranteed peace of mind, you still may want to consider paying for an independent assessment by a mechanic of your choosing. Some breakdown services, such as the AA offer a free inspection, so give your breakdown provider a call to see if this is something you are eligible for.
Do you have the service records?
Any decent seller should have all of the service records available for the car. These should date right back to the initial sale of the vehicle, assuming every owner since has kept records of any work or repairs that have been done. If these records aren’t to hand, but they have the contact details of the last place to service the car, give them a ring and ask about the history of the vehicle. If you still can’t find anything out about the past, it is probably wise to give it a miss and look elsewhere.
Does anything need replacing?
If something is really cheap, there is usually a reason. If a car is going cheap, try to find out why. It could be something simple. Scratched paintwork, worn tyres, and wiper blades can be easily and cheaply sorted out. However, delve deeper and make sure there is nothing wrong with the inner workings of the car or the internal structure of it. If you are still happy to buy a car that needs a bit of work, make sure that you do your homework. For modern British cars, it is easy to source parts, but older cars, or ones from overseas, it may be tricky or expensive to get hold of them.
By asking the right questions before purchase, you should be able to make an informed decision before parting with your cash.