Buying a car used is the best-known way to get a bargain, and whether you’re a first time driver just looking to pick up something you can afford to insure, or if you’re after something a little more luxurious than the new vehicles in your price range, it really is the best option for many shoppers.
Of course, while it’s easy to pick up a bargain, it’s just as easy to make a mistake and wind up dropping your cash on a substandard product, or even a scam. Here are a few key tips for those in the market for a used car.
Shop at Car Supermarkets
Whether you’re looking for second hand cars in Southampton, Northampton, or anywhere else (regardless of whether or not it ends in ‘-hampton’) you’ll want access to as wide a range of vehicles as possible.
A good car supermarket will save you time by having a broad range of makes and models to give you choice without the hassle of finding all the independent sellers in your area. Plus, they’ll handle all the checks you’d normally need to make to avoid scams, like vehicle history checks and cross referencing the Vehicle Identification Number on the documentation with the body of the car itself.
Do Some Research
Before you start making choices, do a little investigating. One of the great advantages of buying pre-owned cars is being able to benefit from other peoples’ experience, so seek out user reviews of any models that catch your fancy.
If there’s one point you really want to home in on, it’s how reliable the car is. It’s no good saving money on a used car if the vehicle in question winds up breaking down because it doesn’t cope with wear and tear well. Many brands have a reputation for good or poor reliability but it’s safest to go by model.
Check Everything For Yourself
There’s nothing you can trust more than your own senses, so before you commit to a purchase get a good look at the car on a bright, clear day. It’s important to know what you’re paying for.
The same goes for documents like the V5C and MOT history; take a long look at them personally just to ensure that everything matches up and you’re not being taken for a ride. It’s also worth asking to see the car’s handbook and making sure it does come with the vehicle—they say nobody reads manuals but they are full of valuable information and expensive to replace.