Many people have had their fingers burned after buying second-hand cars, but there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of this happening to you. It’s wise to buy a used car from a dealer rather than a private seller in order to be protected by the Sale of Goods Act. It’s generally much easier to return a car to a dealer than a private seller if you find a fault not pointed out to you before you bought the car, as a private seller may simply say they told you about the problem even if they did not. New cars lose around 40% of their value within a year of hitting the road for the first time, which is why so many drivers are choosing to buy second-hand.
Don’t be swayed by the price tag alone
It can pay to ask a more experienced friend for help if you have never bought a second-hand car before. Someone with more experience should be able to help you avoid the pitfalls attached to buying second-hand and instruct you to walk away if they suspect something doesn’t add up. Do make sure that you’ll be able to afford the running costs – many people have been swayed by low price tags only to find the cost of tax, fuel and insurance too difficult to meet.
Ask the questions you need to
Look at the car in dry, light conditions and ask as many questions as you need to. Make sure the information on the paperwork matches up with the things you have been told about the car. If something seems too good to be true – like a suspiciously low mileage, it may be best to look elsewhere.