The time has come to replace your old car and you’re looking at getting something a bit more modern, a bit more stylish and definitely a bit more reliable. However, you’re not a mechanic you might have the basics in tyre changing under your belt but as for what happens under the hood, it’s something of a mystery.
Don’t let your lack of expertise put you off. Asking the right questions is all it takes to make sure you get yourself your dream vehicle. Follow our handy guide to car buying and get yourself in the know.
First of all we’d suggest going through a dealer, rather than a private sale as you should have some recourse if things do go wrong and then:
Check The Mileage
It’s estimated that an average car does somewhere around 10,000 miles every year so if you’re looking at a number that looks excessively higher or lower than that, it’s time to ask questions. If you’re not satisfied with the answer the dealer gives you don’t be afraid to walk away, fast.
Look For Leaks
Check under the car to see if you can see any damp spots. If you can, try and work out if it’s oil, water or even both. Ask to look under the hood and try and see where the leak is coming from. Parts vary in cost but in general a water tank will be cheaper to replace than an oil cylinder. It might be worth haggling the price down over if you’re confident of a fairly cheap repair.
Check For Repairs
Just a glance over the car’s paintwork should reveal if it’s been subject to any repairs. Get to the bottom of any patching or paintwork and ask to see the repair sheet if it’s available.
Consider A Lease
If you’re hoping to get a newer car with a little bit more protection, consider taking out a monthly lease such as with Vauxhall PCH. Although you might end up paying more overall, you usually get the option of several services a year and some form of warranty.
You generally get the choice of buying or upgrading the vehicle at the end of the lease agreement.
Ask For Paperwork
There are a number of forms and checks that come with used cars so always ask to see the car’s vehicle registration or log book. If it’s available ask for the paperwork on any regular services it’s had. If you’re buying locally you could even ask for the name of the garage it had its last check with and contact them with any questions you might have.
Expert bloggers will tell you that the most important part of buying a car isn’t how it looks, or how quickly it goes, it’s your safety that matters most. Take time to give it a good look over, checking for obvious signs of wear and tear.
If you have any doubts over its safety, always go with your gut instinct and walk away. There’ll always be plenty of cars to choose from, but there’s only one of you.