The popularity of used cars has increased considerably in recent years. There are many advantages attached to purchasing a second hand vehicle over a new one, the most important one being the greatly reduced price. Whether you’re thinking of upgrading, looking for your first car or buying something bigger to accommodate additional family members, the second hand car market will have something suitable for you. Most people choose to buy used vehicles from trusted dealerships like Exchange and Mart, but if you’re looking at advertisements from private sellers, follow these simple steps to stay safe.
Before You See the Vehicle
There are certain checks that should be completed before you even go to view the car, van or motorbike in question. Ask the seller if they can provide you with the make and model, registration number, tax disc details and MOT test number for the car. Any honest seller will be more than happy to oblige. You can then use the DVLA’s online vehicle enquiry service to check if the details you’ve been sent match their records. You can also check that the MOT history matches and the MOT is up to date. You don’t have to leave anything to chance when checking out the history of a second hand car.
When Viewing a Second Hand Car
Always go to see the vehicle in daylight and avoid viewing in bad weather. Darkness and rain will make it more difficult to see scratches, chipped paintwork and other imperfections. Ask the seller if you can see the V5C vehicle registration certificate. It should have a DVL watermark and the details should match those you were given by the seller. It’s also a good idea to check the vehicle identification number and the engine number, and make sure that these match the details you received earlier.
Always Test Drive
It’s essential to take a vehicle that you’re considering buying for a test drive. Your trip should take around fifteen minutes and cover different types of road, fast and slow, and include corners and roundabouts. Check that the car’s features work and watch out for unexpected noises or vibrations as these could indicate a significant fault in the car’s inner workings. Once you’ve test driven and feel confident about the vehicle, don’t be afraid to haggle with the seller. You should set your budget and refuse to pay outside of that. If the seller won’t be flexible on price and is asking for an amount outside of your budget, remember that there are plenty more second hand cars on the market!