8 tips for buying a used car

Buying a car is a big purchase for many, hence why people get very nervous, especially as used car salesmen have such bad reputations. There are more complaints about buying used cars than anything else, and that’s saying something. If you don’t fancy hefty repair bills or just scrapping the car to be rid of it, read on!

What to buy

Work out what you can afford. This is the simplest and most important part. Many people buy a car for more than they can afford, and lose out when they need to sell it on for much less than they bought it for. Make sure you have taken everything into account when calculating your budget, including insurance and petrol costs.

Buying from a dealer

Many people sell their cars privately and while you can get a great deal this way, you’re actually better off if you buy your car from a professional dealership. Even though it may cost more, you have more legal protection buying from a larger company. Selling a car that is not fit for purpose is actually illegal and many dealerships would not risk their reputation.

Buying from a private seller

Buying your car online or looking up ads in Auto Trader means you can get a cheap deal even though you’re not covered by the Sale of Goods Act. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to be ripped off however – the car still needs to be as described and if it does have a fault you can claim your money back.

Viewing the car

If you are buying privately and the seller wants to meet you anywhere apart from their home beware – they could be hiding where they live so you are unable to contact them should there be a problem. Ensure you check the car thoroughly and don’t make any rash decisions – certainly don’t feel under pressure to buy it. If you don’t know anything about cars, take along someone who does.

Check the history

Whatever car you decide to buy, always double check its history. Go to the DVLA website and check that the details the seller has provided match the ones online. You can also check the MOT history which should tell you everything you need to know.

Paying for the car

It pays to be a good haggler, or to get someone to haggle on your behalf. You can save hundreds of pounds simply by negotiating on the price. Research online for good haggling tips, and remember it is perfectly acceptable to not pay the asking price.

After you’ve paid

Once you have agreed on a price and sorted out payment, you and the seller will need to fill in all necessary documentation. Ensure you have all the additional documentation too, so MOT certificates, receipts and invoices, the manual, and the spare wheel and any other miscellaneous items sold with it. Don’t forget the spare key.

If things go wrong

You should be happy with your purchase but sometimes things can and do go wrong. If the car has a fault that you were told about but it gets worse you might not be eligible to claim.

If you are looking for used cars in Preston check out West Lancs Motors. They have a wide range of cars and have an honest reputation.


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