Buying a used car: What you need to know
Buying a used car can be a great way to save money on your next vehicle, but there are also many potential pitfalls when looking at cars with an unproven history. We highlight some of the main considerations, along with some tips on what to look for and what to avoid, when it comes to buying a used car that delivers everything you’re after.
Why buy a used car?
The most obvious benefit of buying a used car is that they can cost significantly less than new vehicles, as they will have already gone through the immediate depreciation that happens once a brand-new car is no longer considered ‘new’.
The amount you can save will depend on the age, mileage and condition of the used car, along with the make and manufacturer. Some cars hold their value better than others, especially luxury vehicles.
The potential risks of buying a used car
The ‘unknown’ factor is the reason why many people are worried about buying a used car. Whilst you can now easily find out a used car’s MOT history online, you can’t know how it has been driven by its previous owner(s) or what work it has had done which hasn’t been disclosed.
If a used car only comes with a partial service history (or no service history at all), you won’t know whether it has always been looked after and maintained as it should have been. You essentially have to take the word of the private seller, or the salesperson, at face value, when they tell you about the car.
Things to check when you view a used car
- Check the mileage. If it seems excessively high for the age of the car (around 10,000 miles per year is considered average) or extremely low, then it may not have been driven in a way that is best for the vehicle.
- Check the overall condition. Does it have lots of scratches or dents? Don’t ever go to view a used car in the dark, as you won’t be able to get a good view of the car’s condition in low light. Check the tread on the tyres too.
- Go for a test drive. If you’re buying the vehicle privately, you may need to purchase a short-term insurance policy to cover you whilst you do this, but you may be covered by your own existing car insurance if it includes ‘Driving Other Cars’ cover. How does the car feel to drive? Are there any unusual noises coming from any part of the car or any warning lights displaying on the dashboard? Test the lights, radio and windows to make sure they all work as they should.
Why opt for an approved used car?
One way in which you can buy a used car with confidence is to buy an approved used vehicle from a reputable retailer. When you buy an approved used car from Hatfields, you can enjoy the same level of service, quality and customer satisfaction as you would if you were buying brand-new. All of our approved used cars must pass a ten-point customer promise, helping to give you peace of mind that you’re buying a quality vehicle which has been professionally checked and assessed at length by experts.
If you’re looking for an approved used car of a high standard, you can buy from Hatfields with confidence. Contact your nearest Hatfields retailer today.