The new car market has seen a few slumps in recent times, and that is because buying a new car is incredibly expensive and comes with added downside of immediate depreciation. That is why so many people prefer to go with a used car. You are typically getting a better deal for your money and not losing 40% of your car’s market value in the first 365 days.
However, what the new car market has over the used car market is trust. You know what you are getting is the genuine article, with genuine miles, and a genuine warranty that will cover you for 60,000 miles. That is why people spend so long reviewing every little detail they can amount a used car before even considering it as a possibility.
They get put off by pushy salesmen tactics, they question the motives behind a quick sale, they are unsure of the hidden histories a car may have, doubt if it is as reliable as the seller says it is and question whether the sobs are genuine and that the lady selling it really will miss her pride and joy. After all, they could be tears of joy.
So how do you protect yourself from buying a heap of junk and ensure you are in fact getting yourself a bargain motor.
Do All The Research You Can
This has to be the most crucial bit of information any used car buyer can ever listen to. By doing your research you can avoid being ripped off. However, there can be a lot to consider so make sure you have a list of the things that are important to you and go from there. These could be things like a car’s safety rating, or its fuel economy, or the insurance bracket it sits in or how much it costs to tax it for a year. All of these little costly numbers can add up, so make sure you can definitely afford it first. Another money management piece of advice to consider is the auto loan info, as you don’t want to overpay on interest or be told your credit rating will increase your repayment total.
Once you have worked all this out, chances are you will have a short list of vehicles that you will feel comfortable buying. But that doesn’t mean you should stop researching because once you know what makes and models you are interested in, you should go onto car forums and see what owners have to say about them. It could be that they have a common problem after a certain amount of miles, it could be that spare parts are expensive, or any number of things.
Once this is done, research the needs of each car. The manufacturer always has information regarding certain service needs and when they should occur in a car’s history, so make sure these are checked and reported in the service log book. If they have been missed, then don’t take the risk.
Trust Your Seller
The internet age has brought about a huge variety of ways in which you can buy a used car. It could be that you head to a dealership and look at the used options on their forecourt, or head to a used-car specialist or go down the private seller route. Whatever you choose, know the risks involved.
Obviously, the riskiest involves buying from a private seller. However, they also tend to offer the best prices. The reason this route tends to be the riskiest is because there is a lot of murky water about who is responsible for what, how much the buyer is protected by law and how tricky it can be to prove a fault. As such, we recommend you always save the seller’s advert so that you have it for reference, that way you can revert back to it should something not be as it was described in the advert. If the description is given in person or over the phone, then always ask them for a written and signed version of the detail. If they refuse, well, you should walk away. It also worth checking the website first to see if it is secure. Unfortunately, the internet isn’t always as safe we hope it to be, so if there is the requirement to pay a deposit or anything, then think first.
Of course, going to a second-hand car salesman can come with its risks too. We have all seen the film Matilda and heard the rumors about dodgy sales people. However, if you know what questions should be asked, and have done your Due Diligence on a car, then you should be well protected and be able to snatch up a bargain. What’s more, if something does go wrong after the purchase, you know here they are based and you’ll be able to take the vehicle back to them to be rectified.
Listen To Your Doubts
The best thing you can be is suspicious when it comes to buying a car, and the more suspicious you are the more thorough you will check it. But don’t just check the bodywork, or the mileage, or the engine. Don’t just check for rust or wear and tear. Check the car’s history too. There are so many online businesses that now specialize in data checking a car’s history you would be foolish not to. Another great tip is to take a friend or family member along with you; another set of eyes is never a bad thing when it comes to a purchase of this size and importance. If you know a mechanic or petrolhead, then take them.
Another good rule to follow is to listen to your head and not your heart. You may have found a Mustang in your budget, the car you always dreamed of buying since you were eight years old. But that doesn’t mean you should overlook the fact it has only got three wheels, two of which have flat tires. Go with your gut feeling. And remember if a deal seems too good to be true then the chances are that it probably is. Unfortunately, this industry is full of scam artists, whether it is cloning a car’s license plates or welding two together that have been in accidents. So always be cautious when buying.