Buying a used car can be a great option when you want the new car feeling without the new car price tag.
People sell their cars for many reasons; they outgrow them, they want a change and very occasionally because they are having issues with it.
Whilst we hope that most people are honest, unfortunately not everyone is – you just need to make sure you’re not buying a lemon!
5 things to look for when buying a new vehicle
- Service history. By regularly servicing a vehicle in line with the manufacturers intervals, it is less likely to cause problems in the future. A used vehicle with a solid up to date service history is a must! If the seller can’t provide this, walk away.
- Vehicle History Report. These days it is very easy to make an accident appear like it never happened. A vehicle history report will let you know if there are any prior accidents or outstanding finance associated with the vehicle.
- Roadworthy certificate. A roadworthy certificate is required prior to selling a vehicle for registered vehicles. This certificate ensures the car has been checked by a qualified mechanic and has been declared safe. If a car is being sold unregistered and without a roadworthy certificate then you should still have a mechanic perform this check as this small upfront cost could save you thousands in the long run.
- Check the levels. Use the dipstick and check the oil levels. If the oil is low or cloud this is an indication that the owner hasn’t been looking after the oil properly and could be a sign of engine problems. Check the coolant too, this shouldn’t be clear and not cloudy.
- Tyres, hoses, belts. Pop the hood and squeeze the various hoses and belts under the bonnet; make sure they are firm and supple. Any showing signs of cracks, splits or frays indicate they are due for replacement.
Make sure the tyres have plenty of tread (at least 3-4mm) and that they are evenly worn. Check the boot to ensure the spare tyre is there and legal.
A mechanic such as Red Devil Radiators can give a vehicle a once over before you make a purchase, which may be a small price to pay for peace of mind knowing that you are buying a reliable vehicle that isn’t likely to need repairs in the near future!