The used car market is huge and for two very good reasons.
1. We can usually find something that is befitting of our financial situations.
2. There is a great deal of choice when looking for what to buy.
However, when buying second-hand, many of us are fraught with worry. Unlike those cars that are fresh off the production line, there are risks involved when buying from the used market.
Here are just two of the worries that are common amongst many of us, along with a few tips on how to overcome them.
Worry #1: Hidden mechanical faults
When buying a car ‘as is,’ be that from a private seller or a used car dealer, this can be a common concern. In most cases, the seller will be upfront about any faults, but as we all know, this isn’t always the reality. Of course, the seller might pay for an MOT before passing the car on. While this can offer us some peace of mind, there is also the worry that the person doing the MOT isn’t particularly honest either, especially if they are closely affiliated with the seller. As a result, we might be faced with unexpected repair bills within the first few months of owning the car if we have made the wrong purchase.
Tip: Ask a qualified mechanic to give the car the once-over before parting with your cash, or ask a trusted friend to do the same if they have a particular gift with cars. There are some simple checks you can do too, such as by examining the state of the tyres, and looking for any suspect sounds and smells when taking the car for a test drive. For extra peace of mind, you should also choose a seller who offers a warranty of a year or more, as they will then have some responsibility for future faults.
Worry #2: Falling prey to a scam
It might be that the car has been stolen, or the seller could be selling their cars off at prices that are more than they are worth. The seller might also tell lies about the finance deals they are offering, or they could pull the ‘bait and switch’ scam wherein they advertise a car at a bargain price that they later tell you has been sold after they have lured you into their showroom. For those of us who are gullible and less than savvy when dealing with anything car-related, this can be a real worry.
Tip: We have discussed this subject on our website previously, so for advice on how to avoid the scams we mentioned (as well as a few others), check out our article here. By adhering to our tips, you will be in a better position when dealing with the seller.
You should also do a Google search of the seller, be that their name, phone number, or the business they are running. If you discover their reputation is less than credible, steer clear. And finally, run a history check on the car in question. You can do this online, using websites such as autoverleden.nl, who offer vehicle history reports for foreign cars. You will then be able to ascertain the legality of the car you are looking at, and discover any irregularities which could cause you to question the viability of the car and the seller.
Buying a car is never easy, but we hope our tips can help you overcome the worries we have discussed. Continue your research around our website and elsewhere online for more advice when buying something from the used car market.