Buying a used car can be a bewildering process!
KGI Finder Guide To Buying is a few pointers to help you along the way to finding you ideal vehicle with minimum of fuss.
Working out your budget.
Before you think about which car to buy, you’ll need to work out how much you have to spend
• If you already own a vehicle work out its worth, whether you will sell it privately or part-exchange it with a dealer
• Decide if finance is necessary
• Calculate how much your fuel, insurance and road tax costs are likely to be
Choosing the right car.
With more choice than ever, choosing your perfect car can be a bewildering process. Make sure you spend some time working out what you need from your car. Here are a few points to think about:
• what the vehicle will be used for
• The regular passenger capacity
• How much will it cost to fuel, tax, insure, service and repair
Contacting the seller
Your first contact with a seller can reveal a lot of valuable information about the car, so it’s important you ask the right questions.
• Ask thorough questions about the car, its past and its condition
• Arrange to view at the seller’s premises whether private or trade sellers
• Always view the car in daylight, and preferably when it’s dry to make it easier to spot damage
Inspecting a used car
You don’t need to be a mechanic to inspect a used car, but there are a few golden rules.
• Get a car history check to establish if the car has any outstanding finance, has been stolen or written off
• Examine the car’s documents – logbook, service history and previous servicing certificates – to spot if the car mileage has been doctored
• Check the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at the base of the windscreen, under the bonnet and stamped into the chassis under the carpet beside the driver’s seat for signs of tampering, and make sure they match the VIN recorded in the logbook
• Look for rust, mismatched paint and uneven gaps between body panels
• Make sure all the car’s features work
• By reading key documents including the logbook & service history then checking key points around the car, you will be able to quickly access if the vehicle you are viewing is as described in its advert
Test driving a car
The test drive is your chance to asses every aspect of the car, from how it feels on the road, to making sure all its equipment works correctly
. • Always take a test drive of at least 15 minutes and on different types of road
• Arrange suitable insurance cover before you drive the car
• Start the car when the engine is cold, and check for excessive smoke and unusual noises
• Check the gears, brakes, steering and suspension work as they should, with no unusual noises and vibrations
Haggling with sellers
It’s common for buyers to make an offer on the car they would like to buy, so don’t be afraid of haggling on price
• Know what the car is worth, and what you’re willing to pay
• Start your bidding low and let the seller work the price up
• Show commitment to the deal, stay calm and don’t be confrontational
• If you can’t come to an agreement, remember there are plenty of other cars available
Doing the paperwork
A car’s paperwork is essential and provides information on the history and ownership of the car, so you should check it thoroughly
. • Check all paperwork looks and feels genuine – photocopies and print outs could be fake
• Ensure the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) recorded in the logbook matches the ones displayed in the car, and the address and recorded keeper’s information goes with the person selling the car
• Examine the service history to make sure the recorded mileage is in line with the mileage displayed in the car, and that regular maintenance has been carried out
• Make sure the buyer writes a receipt for you both
• Complete the new keeper parts of the logbook and get all information confirmed by local authority responsible for vehicle registration.
Once all is complete and both parties are happy be free to enjoy your new vehicle.