What to look out for when buying a used car

Apr 17, 2018

What to look out for when buying a used car

Are you thinking of buying your next used car? It’s an exciting time, trying to find that car of your dreams, perhaps it’s a diesel, a turbocharged petrol, a hybrid vehicle, a convertible or a 4x4. Either way, the search for your new used car is fun but buying a used car does come with its ups and downs.

Some of the main benefits include ridiculous savings in comparison to the original retail price of the car brand new. There are even options on pre-registered cars which are also known as ‘nearly new’ that are typically demonstrator vehicles with very low mileage, great specification and usually priced quite competitively. The downside is that a second-hand car can come with some damage, scratches, bumps, dents or even may need some work done.

If you are buying a used car, here is what you should look out for on your next used car search

1.The General Condition

What is the general health of the car, what does it look like from the outside and inside, if a car isn't well looked after the truth can be told by just taking a visual inspection of the used vehicle? Take a close look at the bodywork including door panels, boot and engine hood, these are usually key indicators of any damage to the vehicle.

It’s also worthwhile to take a look at the alloy wheels for damage, alloy wheel repair can be an easy fix but depending on the damage this will affect the value of the vehicle. If all four alloys have significant damage this would show that the previous driver has been a little careless with kerbs, parking and manoeuvring. Unless the vehicle is older you can expect some damage, just make sure you are aware of what you are buying.

When you are booking a test drive or going to view the car you should always try and book your appointment while it's still bright outside. This will allow you to get a clear visual inspection of the second-hand car.

2. Mileage

Take a look at what mileage is listed on the dealer or garage website and check it against what you see on the speedometer. Always compare the mileage to other similar vehicles to ensure you are getting a fair price. Always think logically, the average person does 10,000 miles per year in the UK, so always compare this with the year of the vehicle to make sure there has been no tampering with the mileage.

3. HPI Check

HPI stands for Hire Purchase Investigation, a HPI check pulls information from the DVLA, police, and industry specialists to uncover things about the vehicle that you as the buyer more than likely won’t know. It could also be the case that the seller may not know, a HPI check will give you a full rundown of the used vehicle.

It will check to see if the used vehicle has been stolen, in an accident, service history, previous owner checks and log book checks. Always do an HPI check on the vehicle in question, dealerships and garages will do this automatically but for peace of mind always carry out your own check or ask for the HPI results.

4. Service History

When buying a used car one of the best things you can do is to check to see if the car has a full service history, this is usually a no-brainer way of telling that the vehicle is well looked after. A car that has a full service history, will have had regular checks, oil and filter changes and parts replaced by full or major servicing . The overall condition of the car will be a lot better than a used car with no service history, this should mean that you will have to carry out very little repair work.

Keeping your car serviced has many benefits if the car is serviced it will also hold its value when being traded in for a new car. Get servicing quotes for your car.

Get Quotes

Following these tips will mean you are more than likely buying a good quality used car, looking out for these elements could also be the difference between a lot of repair bills. If you are in the market for a new car why not check out the MyCarNeedsA.com used car search tool, go to extra benefits and then cars for sale to compare prices of quality used cars near you. Save time money and hassle with MyCarNeedsA.com

Share this post

Car Service

Car Service

Need a basic, interim or full service? Compare quotes.

Get Quotes