Automotive

Top tips for buying a second-hand car 

When you consider that, for the vast majority of people, buying a car represents the second largest purchase in life behind buying a home, it should come an as a little surprise that it’s not a choice to be taken lightly – and particularly if you’re buying a pre-owned car. While we all like to think about the generosity of spirit and the idea of looking after fellow individuals, there’s no denying there are sharks out there willing to pass off faulty, defective, or even stolen vehicles to turn a profit.

Is buying second-hand really worth the risk compared to buying new?

Even at the most conservative estimates, new cars depreciate at a fearsome rate – anywhere between 40-60% in the first three years of ownership. In truth, the minute you drive a new car out of the dealership, it’s already dropping like a stone in value – hence the reason why buying second-hand still holds so much appeal for so many people.

So yes, buying second-hand definitely could save you considerable money – but it’s also not without risks.

Things to look for when buying second-hand

While buying second-hand can open you up to potential problems you likely won’t encounter just buying new, there are still some sensible precautions you can take to minimize the dangers. Below are just a few things you should consider:

Dealer, private sale, auction, or web vendor: Depending on how important price is to you, going the route of the private sale will likely result in the lowest purchase price – but you should also be mindful you’ll be buying without any kind of warranty or returns policy. Also, remember, in most cases, this includes the fact that the majority of private sellers won’t be able to take credit/debit card payments, so you won’t even have the fallback of your card security. While buying a car online still seems relatively alien to many people (mostly due to the monies involved), online vehicle sales are evolving rapidly, and most come with some form of warranty and trial period. Sites like Cars for sale Liverpool offer peace of mind trial periods and video viewings.

Ask for all the relevant documents: Just like everything else in life, a car has a history, and you need to be sure exactly what you’re buying. Any reputable dealer or even private seller should have all the relevant ownership and servicing docs easily to hand and be more than willing to show them. No matter how desirable the car is you’re looking at purchasing, go no further if the vendor can’t show you these essential documents.

Whether you buy from a dealer, online, or privately – do your research: Not so very long ago, buyers were largely limited to only doing local research in showrooms or auctions, but in today’s uber-connected world and the internet, it’s now easier than ever to get an accurate idea of expected prices based on age and mileage for a huge range of vehicles. Spending a little time doing some thorough research will put you in a much stronger position to command the best price possible.

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