Buying a used car is a big investment for anyone and getting it right can save money and headaches later on. To help you find the right car for you, we’ve pulled together our top tips for making your purchase.
1. Do your research
Before heading out to browse the forecourts of Devon used cars dealers, it is worth doing some online research to familiarise yourself with the type of car that you think would suit you and your needs. Large car dealers such as Vospers have hundreds of used cars in stock at any one time, so having an idea before you go will help focus your search. Some of the most popular models at the moment are Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2 and Fiat 500 which all represent good long term value.
2. See things in a good light
Wherever you choose to go for your used car, shopping in good light and conditions is the best idea. That way you will have the best chance to spot any defect, scratches or marks that may be on the vehicle and avoid any surprises when you get home.
3. Shop smart
You can either buy a used car through a private sale or through a used car dealership. If you’re buying a used car from a dealership then look for one that carries out a comprehensive pre-sale check and rectifies any problem areas that were highlighted to give you peace of mind. Vospers Group Used Car Manager Andy Pidwell has this advice: Look for a dealer like Vospers with over 65 years motor trade experience where the vehicles are checked and prepared to a high standard. Through this approach we have thousands of happy customers and have won countless manufacturer awards for customer satisfaction.
4. Look for service history
A car service history and HPI checks offer assurance that the car has been well looked after, that there are no outstanding finance payments and that the vehicle hasn’t been written off. It’s also another way to be sure that you’re getting a car with genuine mileage and background.
5. Know your future costs
When you have decided on the car, be sure that you know what the future costs of owning a car like this may be. For example find out what insurance group the car is in and what the Road Fund Licence cost is likely to be. This kind of information can make a big difference to your budget. A Ford Fiesta is a Group 3+ car while a Ford Mondeo is a Group 13+ so there is a big difference on cost of insurance. In addition, think about maintenance issues that may come up. Does the car have optimum tread on the tyres or may it need new tyres very soon? Has the cam belt been changed or is it approaching a time when it might need doing?
6. Road Test
Of course it goes without saying that you should test drive your used car before buying. Listen out for any strange noises that may be a sign of problems to come. Also check that the vehicle will be appropriate for your practical requirements. Will your pushchair fit in or your golf clubs for example?