What to check for when buying a used car

September 21, 2015 | by | 1 Comment

Buying a used car is the quickest and most affordable away to get on the road, so it’s no surprise that it’s been reported by the British Car Auctions (BCA) that second hand car sales are at an all-time high, with 7.2 million used cars sold in 2014 alone.

Whether you’re a first time buyer looking to purchase your first set of wheels, or simply need extra transport to get the family from A to B, a used car is the answer, but the statistics reveal much more than an increasing amount of first time drivers and growing families. Although the production of new cars has been at an all time low in recent years due to the hangover of the recession, it appears that consumers are starting to feel more confident about stepping onto the forecourt.

We’ve all felt the fear of the car salesman, with the worry that we’re going to be told about a Lamborghini but get sold a lemon. But a car is an important purchase, second to buying a house, so it shouldn’t be a process we’re afraid of, and it appears our confidence to confront the salesman is growing.

Used car buying checklist

Used car buying checklist

Thanks to the vast amount of information that is now available to us online, at the click of a button we can find out, everything and anything we need know, and educate ourselves on what was once only available to the trade professionals, equipping us with the knowledge and confidence to not be taken advantage of.

Checking the value of a car to reading the customer service reviews, there’s nowhere to hide for dealers who are looking to make a quick sale.

But as the prime cause of consumer complaints here in the UK, the number of car complaints have significantly decreased since 2007, from an eye watering 819,815 to 500,000 in 2015 so far, clearly showing that thanks to our far savvy purchasing skills, we’re no longer feeling vulnerable as a society and have the confidence to question the salesman without the fear of retribution.

The truth is, the traditional ways of selling a car are becoming obsolete in an era where we have all the information we need at our fingertips.

Dealers now more than ever before, have to be more aware themselves of the car market and meet the real needs of their customers, rather than just flogging them any old motor that will do the job.

Buying a used car is a massive financial cost, so it’s no surprise that now as consumers we’re starting to become more educated on the things we should be checking when buying a car.

There’s no longer the misconception that you need to be a mechanic to know what you need to look for. Infographics such as the used car checklist above, are available on numerous platforms so that no matter when or where you’re looking, you can educate yourself with the knowledge you need to feel confident when purchasing a car.

Don’t leave it up to the car dealer to give you the full information, take a pro-active approach, and if the standards are still below what your expectations you have every right to complain.


Category: Auto

Comments (1)

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  1. Erin says:

    It’s always essential that you run a thorough check of any car with the DVLA before buying it. Recently I’ve seen a rise in a number of people selling cars using mileage “adjustment” to try and get a higher price for their car, you can easily spot this if you do the correct checks but if you dont you can end up paying a lot more than a car is worth!

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