Used Car Buying Checklist for Dummies

How to buy a used car
How to buy a used car

It can be daunting to buy a second-hand car for many who are not automobile experts. It is for this reason that this checklist has been assembled for anybody to help them to get a great deal on a high-quality used vehicle.

10. Identify your budget – Before finding the car of your dreams, it is vital that you establish how much money you are willing to spend (you will also need to take into account tax, title, registration and insurance). This will help to filter your results and ensure that you do not spend too much.

9. Research used cars– With a figure in your head, you can now begin to look for a used car that suits your needs and is within your budget. The internet is a great tool for research as there are thousands of resources online (Parkers and autotrader are good places to start). Make a short list of cars that tick all of the boxes for you.

8. Compare prices – Now that you have a few automobiles to look out for, spend time comparing the prices of used models online. This will help you to see how much people are paying and identify which ones are more affordable than others. You will often find that large online car dealerships will have the lowest prices, such as Motorpoint.

7. Contact the seller – Once you have found an automobile from a reputable dealership, it is time to contact the seller. Enquire about the price and condition of the vehicle and arrange a time to come in and check it over and for a test drive.

6. Check the vehicle history report – The vehicle history report will reveal crucial information about the car and flag up any major issues. You can obtain this report online with the vehicle identification number (VIN) or licence plate number.  Next, obtain a previous owner check from a specialist like HPI. These checks tell you exactly how many owners the car has had – this will indicate if the logbook and the information the seller provides are accurate. If it has had many owners over a short period of time, this is a red flag and it should be avoided. Even if the dealer says that it has been HPI checked, make sure that you do your own just to be 100% sure

5. Check the car over – When at the dealership, take your time and give the vehicle a thorough inspection and make sure this is during the day when there is plenty of light. There are many guides to help you with this step.

4. Test drive – Next, you will want to take the car out to make sure that it performs to a high standard and that you are comfortable driving it. Again, there are handy guides online for this stage.

3. Enlist help – Getting a mechanic to give the car an inspection is a great way to guarantee that it is fit for purchase.

2. Negotiate – Make an opening offer that is below your maximum and an average of what you discovered during research. If you explain that you have researched and looked around, you should get a fair price. Remember to be firm but not stubborn and always stick to your budget.

1. Paperwork – Finally, you will need to sign the contract at the dealership. Read it over carefully and ensure that everything is as agreed (it is likely to include documentation fee, sales tax and license fees). With this complete, you can drive away with a great vehicle for a fair price.