Five things to look for when buying a used car

For most of us, buying a car is one of the most important purchases we ever make in our lives. With the possible exception of property, a vehicle is often the most expensive thing we ever commit to, so it makes sense to take extra care when starting the search. As always, there is a right way and a wrong way of doing it, so be ready to do a little work first.

Before you even consider handing over any money, you need to ask yourself a few questions about your intended purchase. Is the car the right size for you? Does it match your financial budget? Will it be economical enough for you? Are you sure you won’t regret buying it in the near future? Here are five tips to make sure you’re planning to buy the right car.

Used Porsche for sale

Used Porsche for sale

Set a budget…. and stick to it

Once you start searching for your ideal car, you will undoubtedly view a vast number of options, especially if you are looking online. There will almost certainly be a temptation to start looking at vehicles that are just outside your price range, and that can be damaging. If you are restricted to a financial budget, you should make every attempt to stay within it.

Do plenty of background checks

Every used car on the road has some sort of history, and if you’re a careful consumer you’ll be happy to do a little research before buying. There are specialist agencies which are able to provide information about the vehicle’s past, including whether it has ever been involved in a serious accident and whether or not there is any outstanding finance owed on it.

Ask an expert to take a look

Many motoring organisations supply expert advice to car buyers, but even if you just ask a knowledgeable friend to have a look you will be better informed. Whether you’re buying a high quality 4×4 via a website or checking out a low-cost Mini from a local dealership, any information from someone in the know could prove vital in the long run.

Be prepared to haggle

Every time you buy a car you bid farewell to a sizable sum of money, but if you’re clever you can negotiate a lower price by the use of skilful haggling. Some buyers are reluctant to enter into a bargaining conversation, but the truth is that almost every seller, both trade and private, will be expecting to have their asking price knocked down a little.

Don’t buy the first car you see

Many of the more naïve car buyers are often only too ready to purchase the first vehicle they look at. Even if the car seems perfect, this isn’t usually a good idea. To gain a better understanding of the current market, it makes sense to view a substantial number of cars first. Of course, if you then decide the first one was the best one, you can still buy it.

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