Buying your next car used can be a great way to save money, or stretch your budget that extra bit further and get a prestige vehicle that would otherwise have been out of your reach. But it can also be a risky venture, and it’s easy to fall into a trap if you don’t have your eyes peeled. Here are three essential steps to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth when shopping for your next set of wheels.
- Do Your Research First
One of the advantages of buying a used car is that there should be a wealth of information about any given make and model based on actual user experiences. It’s especially important to look into reliability, since the parts on a used model will already have some wear and tear on them.
You can also compare prices for similar vehicles in similar conditions and make sure that you are getting the best deal you can.
- Make Sure You Know Its History
The best way to avoid scams is to make sure you know the car’s history. There are a few ways to check this. One simple method is to ask to see all the vehicle’s documentation, including MOTs, service histories, and so forth. Any legitimate seller will be happy to provide these, but you will have to check yourself for any inconsistencies, so it takes time and energy.
Another tack to take is to get an HPI check, which will bring anything noteworthy to your attention, but you’ll have to pay a company to perform this for you.
The best option overall is to source your car through a reliable and reputable company who will perform all these checks for you. Companies like Unbeatable Car will only sell vehicles that they are confident in and will disclose anything you need to know. Using car supermarkets can also be more convenient since it gives you access to a wide variety of makes and models in one place.
- Take It for a Test Drive
Nothing is a substitute for practical experience, so it’s essential that you get behind the wheel of any vehicle you’re thinking of buying. This will let you get a feel for the car’s general condition in terms of drivability—an inspection will tell you the vehicle’s condition but not what that means for you as a driver—as well as how comfortable you are at the wheel. All the positive reviews in the world won’t mean a thing if you just don’t like how the car feels to drive, so you can’t afford to skip this step.