Guide to buying second-hand cars
At webuycarsformore.com, we make selling your car incredibly easy. And, at our sister car sales site, we hand-pick some amazing examples of pre-owned cars, with something to suit every taste.
- All cars come quality checked.
- 12 months’ warranty with all of our cars.
- We can find your perfect car for you at no extra cost.
- All our cars are hand picked and only top quality cars with great service history.
- All cars come fully valeted.
- We are situated 2 minutes off the A1.
- We will be happy to arrange a local pick up from Newcastle Train Station or Airport.
- Delivery available – please ask.
So, if you’re in the market for second-hand cars, we can give you the quality assurance and peace of mind you really need.
But if you think you’ve found your dream car elsewhere, make sure you follow our guide to second-hand car buying, to avoid any nasty pitfalls. These tips are especially important if you are buying privately, as you won’t get the benefit of a 12-month warranty like we can provide.
Get insurance quotes and check car tax rates before signing on the bottom line, and remember to factor in the cost of any work that might be needed too.
If you’re going to borrow money to buy the car it’s a good idea to get loan quotes before you go out to view any cars. That way you’ll know what you can afford and will be able to tell whether any finance a dealer offers you is good value or not.
Do your homework
Check price guides and compare similar cars in the classifieds so you know as much as you can about the value of different cars to avoid being overcharged.
Don’t view a car in the rain, in poor light or at night
You won’t be able to check the condition of the car properly if it’s wet – water hides scratches, dents and other problems. Make sure you can see the vehicle clearly and from all angles.
Ask about service history
Most cars require some work during the year so the owners of a car a few years old should have amassed quite a sheaf of garage bills for work or parts as well as previous MOT certificates, and records of regular servicing.
Is the present keeper the person selling you the car? If not, then why are they selling the car for someone else?
Be wary of anything that seems like a real bargain, or has a very low mileage for its age. There are bargains to be had but in general, if a deal looks too good to be true then it most likely is.
As well as regular (usually annual) servicing there are major items like brake fluid, antifreeze or cam belt renewal that car manufacturers specify should be done at a certain age or mileage.
Some engines have a chain instead of a belt and these normally last the life of the vehicle but if your car does have a belt you must make sure it’s replaced when due.
If a belt change was due but the service record doesn’t show clearly that it was done then the belt will have to be renewed as soon as possible for peace of mind.
Make sure the handbook is in the car as they can be expensive to replace if not.
Look to see how the security system works – and check that it does – and find out what keys were provided when the car was new. Modern car keys can cost £100+ to replace so if you need more than one key and there’s only one available you’ll need to bear that cost in mind.
Coloured ‘master’ keys provided by some manufacturers to programme new spare keys for the car are even more expensive to replace.
There’s no legal requirement but cars are generally sold new with at least one spare key. If there’s not a spare now, ask why not.
The test drive is your only opportunity to check the car’s general mechanical condition and to find our for sure that it meets all your needs:
- Is the driving position comfortable?
- Can you reach/operate all the controls easily?
- Do the child seats fit?
- Does the golf bag or pushchair fit in the boot?
Locking wheel nuts
Adaptors for locking wheel nuts have a habit of going missing. If locking wheel nuts are fitted, check to make sure that the special adaptor required is included with the toolkit and that it fits the nuts.
Don’t be pressured into buying
There are always other vehicles out there so if this one doesn’t feel right in any way it’s time to walk away.
Be wary of and don’t be swayed by ‘sob stories’ like change of job, break-up of relationship, moving aboard, new baby on the way and so on. The bottom line is that you’re buying a car to help yourself, not anyone else.
Before you hand over any money:
Agree collection/delivery arrangements
Confirm exactly what’s included in the price
Confirm any work that the seller has agreed to do
Make sure you get a receipt showing vehicle details, price, terms of sale and the seller’s details.
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