It is possible to get a decent deal on a used car, while avoiding some of the common pitfalls associated with doing so; you need to be able to compare the market as much as possible before buying a used car, and you should take a test drive with someone else to check for any problems. Moreover, inspect an engine, consider using a dealership, like one of the many Cooper MINI dealerships, for approved used vehicles, and check the history of a used car for any illegal activity.
Compare the Market
Use the Internet to your advantage by researching sales prices, as well as the ideal condition for certain models – how often should they have been serviced, and what are the factory features that should still be present? Moreover, use price comparison sites to check whether you can get a similar model for new, and look at how much other people are selling a car for online.
Decide on Where to Buy From
Be careful when dealing with an individual seller, even if the deal they’re offering appears to be reasonable. If you’re using an online site such as eBay to find a car, make sure that you check the recommendations for a seller, and don’t enter into a deal without having seen the car if you can.
Make Sure You Have Some Kind of Protection
When buying a used car, you have the protection of paying with a credit card and then backing out of a deal after 14 days – this means that any money you might have paid a seller can be refunded to you via the credit card company.
Check a Car’s History
Don’t forget to do a little bit of research into the history of a used car; its VIN number can be run through AA and other checks to see whether there is any outstanding finance on it, as well as any accidents and other claims.
Get an Insurance Quote Beforehand
It’s crucial to have a rough idea of how much insurance you’ll need before you buy a used car; you don’t want to buy a car, only to find that you can’t afford to pay the insurance premiums – this can be a particular problem with any modified or classic cars.
Take a Test Drive with Someone Else
If you’re taking your car for a test drive, which should be essential, get someone else to come with you to give you a second opinion – particularly listen out for any unusual noises, and check the back of a car for emissions.
Consider Going to a Car Auction
You may be able to get a good deal on a used car by going to a car auction, rather than using a private seller; bidding on vehicles can be competitive, but can mean that you get a car for much less than you would pay elsewhere.
Know What to Do if You Have Problems
There is a 14 day cooling off period where you should be able to return your used car and get your money back; you can also consult with the Office of Fair Trading if you’re unsure about a deal, and what your rights are if you’ve been mis-sold a car.