Buying a used car?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My beloved car is coming up for its service this month and I’m dreading it slightly. It has lasted me a long wonderful time and been on some great adventures with the family but I know it most likely wont past. A little excitement though means that we can start looking for a new car. We most of a new cars worth be written off the moment you drive it off the forecourt the only sensible idea is to go for a used one so of to Exchange and Mart we go..

But what are our top tips for buying a used car as a family?

1, Service History

99% of used cars will have service history. If there is none you have to wonder why! Is it a write off? A CATD? Or did they just not bother to look after it? Even within a few years the car should have amounted to a wodge of garage bills, previous MOT certificates and regular services. Check through the notes you do have, is there a persistent fault? Does the mileage match up? ( we looked at a card once where the mileage suddenly dropped from 80k down to 35k!)

2, V5C Document

Demand to see this. Even if you have service history and lots of receipts. This will show who the registered keeper of the car, not the legal owner.  Is the keeper present? If not why? It will also show the details of the previous keeper too. It’s always worth a quick call to find out what they say about the car, what work was done, how miles they did etc. Did they service it regularly?

3, Cam Belt.

The service looks great now check on the cam belt! But do your history first and check it has a belt not a chain! (we discovered this the hard way!) If it was due in the service (check the book) but its ot on the receipt get it replaced asap and demand this is reflected in the price.

4, Test Drives.

Make sure when you arrive the engine isn’t warm. Some dodgy dealers run their car around first so the engine is already warm and starts on first go. Also ensure you don’t go and see it in the dark or rain! Check the car is on level ground and doesn’t lean to either side. Take a peak underneath and check nothing is dangling down. Check your car seats fit. We have been owners of a car where the back seatbelts do not fit around the childs car seat! Its an expensive mistake to overlook! Check the pushchair fits in your boot. The child locks work and that the window buttons and locks work.

5, Check just whats included.

Is there a warranty? Are the mats included? Are the wheel lock nuts there? Is there another set of keys (modern keys can cost £100 for a replacement set!)Is any work agreed on to be covered by the price. Make sure you get a receipt!
Most of all go with your gut instinct, if the car is too good to be true, well it most likely is and if you have a feeling do not be afraid to walk away! 

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