Buying a new car is not always in our budget so a used car is the other option. You can get the same features for half the price. When you buy a new car, the minute you walk out of the dealer or garage, its price will drop by 30 — 40 %. You can never sell it for the same price you bought it. Whereas, used cars — you can put it on the market after a year you had it and you can still get the same amount of money for it.
Buying a used car can also be risky as you probably won't be warned about any faults the car has but if you read our guide you will know what to look for and where to pay attention most.
- Service history — always check if the car has full or partial service history as this could be a good guide to what has been changed in the past years and would you need to change it. Make sure the mileage shown there and in the MOT certificate matches the one the car shows.
- V5C — check if the car has one and the name matches the person selling it to you. That's if you're not buying from a garage or a dealer.
- Cam belt — check when was the last time the cam belt was changed. It is a very important part because if it has passed 36,000 miles with the current one, you might be left on the road with a fully non-working car.
- Paintwork — look carefully at the paintwork on the bonnet, doors and all the different panels to see if they have been changed. You will notice a slight discoloration if this is the case.
- Interior — check the inside of the car for floods, upholstery's condition and throughout.
- Brakes and lights — check if the brakes, clutch, headlights, brake lights and indicators are working properly. You will be no good on the road if any of this has a problem.
- HPI check - if you can make an HPI check to check the vehicle's real history and to make sure that it's not been stolen or it wasn't written off at some point.
Once you've made all the checks and the car has passed comes the time to make your decision. You can try and haggle if you noticed a few bits that are not quite to perfection. When you make the deal make sure you receive a receipt with the vehicle's details, price and terms of sale.
- Hyundai Sonata - affordable and reliable cars
- Kia Rio - affordable hatchback car that drives like SUV.
- Toyota Corolla - one of the best selling car as brand new or used. Very reliable, low fuel consumption and affordable for servicing and repairs.
- Volkswagen Jetta - with great extended warranty from Volkswagen you are totally safe.
- Ford Focus - electric or not - both versions are affordable for servicing and repairs and quite low on fuel consumption.
- Online you will be able to find cars from private sellers which you wouldn't otherwise be able to see. Also the competition is bigger and the prices are lower.
- Dealers — if you know a good dealer near you, why not pay him a visit? He will be happy to take you around and show you cars that match your requirements.