Buying your first used car can be a daunting prospect. There will be a lot of questions that you need to ask yourself during the process but don’t worry CarMoney, one of the UK’s leading Car Finance Brokers, have created this handy guide to support those purchasing their first new or used car. Read the summary below or skip straight to the infographic.
Where should I start looking?
One of the main questions you need to ask yourself is where am I going to purchase my car from?
Car dealerships are a great place to start looking for your next vehicle. They offer support and help make purchasing your next car much easier. Car dealerships will make sure the car has gone through rigorous testing to make sure the car is worth selling.
Whilst cars are usually more expensive through a dealership, you can buy your vehicle knowing it has been thoroughly checked and is in the best condition when driving away. Some dealerships also provide warranties to give you extra peace of mind.
Purchasing from a private seller could be cheaper initially, however, it may end up costing you a lot more in repairs should the car have any mechanical issues. Make sure you know what to look out for before you go to see a car being sold by a private person or a small garage.
You also don’t have access to HP or PCP so when you purchase from a private dealer, you’ll either have to make sure you can afford the car or take out a personal loan to pay for it.
Mileage & Age
On average a car does 10-15,000 miles a year. You should always be wary of any car that has done over 100,000 miles in under 5 years. This could mean that the car has been used as a rental/lease car and is likely not have been looked after.
You want to look for a car that is as new as possible within your budget and has reasonable low miles on the clock. However just because it’s newer doesn’t mean it’s in better condition. Always inspect each car on an individual basis.
How much am I willing to pay?
If you know you have a limit of cash upfront then you can look for cars within that budget but if you know how much you can afford on finance then your options are slightly broader. Don’t spend more than you can and never be afraid to haggle. Always take into consideration the cost of insurance as this is also part of the cost.
How safe is it?
The most important thing when buying a used car is ‘is it safe?’. This is where gut instinct comes into play. If something doesn’t feel right the chances are it probably isn’t and if the car looks ready for the scrap heap, it probably is.
Walk around the car, take a look at everything, make a note of any bumps or gaps in panels as this may mean the car has previously been involved in a crash. Check under the hood for any oil leaks and spills. If anything looks bad or your gut is telling you something is wrong, walk away.
The final thing
Always remember when buying a used car not to rush into purchasing the first car you see. Take your time, look around and visit other dealers and private sellers to get a feel for what the market is like at the moment. You want to make sure you’ve made the right decision. To find out more read our other car buying articles.
Disclosure: This article was written by Car Finance Experts, CarMoney.