Used Car

Top Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car is perhaps the fastest and cheapest way to have your ideal pricey possession.It involves minimum fuss and is generally a simple process that does not involve the hassles of buying a new car. But that does not mean if you would keep your eyes and ears closed before buying a used car. Remember, it is a second-hand purchase that you are making where quality of the product is already compromised. Moreover, a used car may come cheaper than a new one but still you are making some good investment in it. Therefore, you should ensure buying smartly. Discussed here are the questions to ask when buying a used car.

Questions to ask when buying a used car?

This is one of the most important things to ask when buying a used car. Ask the question to yourself! The choice of pre-owned cars in UK is plenty and it is important that you review your budget and requirements to work out what to buy, what you can afford and what you can get at that price. Before you head off to a car dealer or a private owner, do your research well. Check local magazines and advertisements on the Internet to get an idea of the price ranges for used cars. Any special offers or deals available in the market at the moment? If you have a particular model in mind, research for its prices on different websites. Used cars with bigger engines may cost relatively cheap, but you have to consider the running costs which are too high.

What is the condition of the car? 

Wondering what to ask when buying a used car? Inquire about the condition of the car as a priority.Whether you are buying from a dealer or a private owner, ask whether you can see the car’s service history. Not all pre-owned cars will have it, especially the older ones. But if the owner has it, it is recommended to ask for the service book with dealer stamps. If there is no service book, ask whether there is any receipt for any work done on the car.If the car that you are considering to buy is more than 3 years old, it is necessary for that vehicle to have an MOT certificate. Make sure that you see the car’s MOT certificate before buying. Finally, also ask whether you can check the car’s mileage. It will help you have an idea of the rate of depreciation.

Can I see the proof of ownership or identity?

If you are buying from a private owner, this is one of the most vital questions to ask when buying a used car. The person who is selling you the car should have a copy of identity of ownership of the car. Having this minimizes legal hassles that may come up in due course of time. It is an unfair practice to sell a car for which the person does not have a proof of ownership because the vehicle may be a case of theft.

Can I inspect the car?

Before you buy a pre-owned car, it is crucial to perform a thorough check of the vehicle, both internally and externally. Check everything from the tyres to the paint work to the car’s electronics and upholstery. You can hire professional car inspection services to ensure added security when investing in a used car from a private seller. Are there any traces of accident damage like uneven paint finish, mismatched colours or inconsistent gaps between panel, signs of paint spray on the plastic mouldings or window seals or unusual welding under the boot or bonnet? Is the mileage instrument being tampered?

Other things to ask when buying a used car are whether the tyres are in good conditions, are the airbags fitted, do all the seatbelts function correctly, are all the tools and jack in the car present, do the windscreen and lights, wipers and washers work appropriately? An extensive inspection of the car can ensure superior safety and the best value for your money. It is unwise to invest in a vehicle that has undergone accidents or does not conform to street-legal standards.

Can I inspect the car’s documents?

To make sure that you are making a legal purchase, make sure that the car has all the important documents. Check the following –

  • V5C registration document which is vital to tax the car
  • Proof of ownership or identity
  • Do VIN numbers etched on the lights or glass match V5C and VIN plate?
  • Is the seller of the car the registered owner shown in V5C document? If not, why is he selling for someone else?
  • Has the VIN plate been tampered?
  • Are there any spelling mistakes on the registration document?
  • Does the V5C document have a watermark?
  • Do the engine number, Vehicle Identification Number and colour of the car match V5C document?
  • Does the seller have the current MOT certificate?

Can I test drive the car?

This is certainly one of the most vital things. Whether you buy from a dealer or private owner, make sure that you test drive the car before buying. A test drive will help you to assess the following

  • Any unusual noise when the engine starts or you brake
  • Do the warning lights function correctly
  • Is the handbrake effective
  • Any vibration in steering or pull to one side
  • Is the car braking evenly or is it pulling to one side
  • Does the clutch operate normally
  • If ABS is installed, does the warning light goes off after the engine starts
  • Is the car smooth to drive

These important things to ask when buying a used car can help you have the best value for your money. Make sure that you buy smart and buy right.

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