6 Things To Watch Out For When Buying A Used Car 

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Did you know that as soon as you drive a shiny brand new car off the forecourt it starts to lose its value? In fact, within the first year it can lose around 40%! That is why a used car is perfect; you can get the model you want without the huge, but quickly decreasing, price tag.

However, as the car has had at least one – if not more owners before you – there are a few things you need to look out for upon purchasing it. Although the price of what appears to be your ‘dream car’ could be perfect, not carrying out a few basic checks could make it become incredibly costly!

 

As you are taking a look through a selection of the used cars for sale from Freeads, here are six things you need to be watching out for:

  1. Documents

Firstly, the seller must be able to present you with the V5C document, as you won’t be able to tax the car without it. When you see this document, it is important to check that the person selling the car is down as the registered keeper. It is also important to ensure that the car you are looking at matches up with all the details on the document – you can also check this matches up on the DVLA website.

Secondly, does the car have a current MOT? You can check its MOT history here.
You also need to ask about service history – if there is no history you may want to question why.

  1. Mileage

It is very important to check the mileage to ensure it hasn’t been clocked. Clocking is illegally winding back the odometer on a high-mileage car to increase its value and asking price. There are a few ways you can check this, first of all – does the mileage, age and appearance of the car seem consistent? Check recorded mileage on service records, MOT documents and any other documents – is it consistent and does it increase steadily year on year? Finally, besides this, are you happy with the mileage?

  1. Under the Bonnet

You must open the bonnet and take a look under it – keep an eye out for any leaks. Is there any unusual welding? Check all fluid levels and that it is all rust free and in good condition.

  1. Test Drive

Take the car out for a spin – while on the test drive, as well as making sure you are comfortable behind the wheel, you can do a few checks. Listen as you start the car and then while driving, any odd noises such as a rattle could indicate mechanical problems. Check the gearbox, brakes, and clutch are smooth and that the vehicle doesn’t pull to one side.

  1. The Bodywork

Check the condition of the car carefully; dents, scratches and poorly repaired damage can be expensive to put right. Is the paint finish even across the car? Could the colour of the car have been changed? While checking the outside of the car, make sure that you inspect the tyres to ensure they are also in good condition.

  1. Electronics

Non-engine electrics are now one of the biggest causes of faults in used cars – check the lights, air-conditioning, windows, heating, etc. These can be easy to forget, depending on the weather and time of day.
Once you have made these checks if you are still not 100% sure or something doesn’t feel quite right, don’t feel pressured into buying the vehicle – there are plenty more cars out there. If you do choose to purchase it, make sure you are both on the same page with the price before you hand over any money.

 

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