5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car

Posted on May 28, 2012

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When you’re thinking about buying a car you’re bound to hear the same pearl of wisdom from most people you speak to: it makes more financial sense to buy used than to buy brand new. The biggest drop in value occurs in the first year of a car’s life, so it’s easy to see why people say that: but unless you ask these important questions, you might find that even a used car can be a money pit.

How many previous owners does it have?

Although you may not think it matters, the differing driving and maintenance styles of a number of drivers can impact on the way that the car has aged. If the car has gone through a huge number of owners there might be something wrong with the car, too: otherwise why would so many people choose to reject it?

How many miles has it done?

If a car has done more than 15,000 miles per year then the engine may not be in tip-top condition. The higher the mileage, the lower the value of the car. Be sure to check this to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Are the service records up to date?

In case it isn’t obvious now, the history of the car is your main concern. Service records give you a good idea of how well looked after the car was or if any damage has been done to the car during its lifetime; even something as small as car window repair due to a break-in. Having a comprehensive record of the car’s history also lets you see how well  it has been maintained.

Can I take it for a test drive?

Buying a car is a big commitment: you’re going to be spending a lot of time and money in that vehicle so you’ll want to be sure that you’re making the right choice. Take the car for a good, ten minute long spin to make sure that it suits you comfortably. The test drive should also raise any issues, such as weak brakes or a low biting point.

Is the price negotiable?

Pretend that you’re in a Moroccan souk and remember that the price written on the front of the car may not be the lowest price available. Haggle with the dealer until you find a price that you’re both happy with. Use points such as the service history and mileage to back your point up. Hopefully you’ll leave with a bargain.

Catherine Halsey is based in Edinburgh and writes for a digital marketing company. This article links back to http://www.autoglass.co.uk/Glass-Repair-and-Replacement.186.0.html.

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