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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Used Car

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Filed under Automotive, Editorial

Buying a car, whether it be brand new or pre-loved, is an exciting time that requires lots of research. Like most things in life, you’ll probably make a few errors, more so if the vehicle has already racked up a few miles and you’re a relatively new driver.

To avoid turning the car you’ve always wanted into a persistent issue, we’ve put together our top tips to avoid making mistakes when buying a used vehicle.

Do your research

We often feel more comfortable when making a large purchase, such as a car, in person as this allows us to speak to an individual and examine the vehicle properly. However, you shouldn’t avoid the online marketplace as there can be some great deals to be found here.

As consumer protection laws expand, you will see that there are many quality vehicles available online that have undergone the appropriate tests. Always go with a dealership that has approved used cars, like the Peugeot 208, available for sale near you. Then, you can contact them and see if you can take the model for a test drive.

Check before you buy

As mentioned above, you should always take a look at the vehicle in person and go for a test drive. See if you’re comfortable with how the car handles and check whether it feels safe to drive on the road. Some other important things to look out for include large dents or scratches and gaps between panels in the bodywork.

You should also perform the usual inspections for any vehicle before driving on the road, which includes making sure all the lights work normally, checking all the fluid levels are topped up correctly and ensuring the tyres are at the correct pressure and tread depth.

If you’re unsure, ask a friend or family member who has experience with used cars to assist you – they may be able to find issues that you initially missed.

Ask to see the documentation

The seller should always provide you with the relevant documentation or, at the very least, show you when asked. You will want to make sure that the V5C registration document looks legit and matches the vehicle identification number (VIN), engine number and colour of the vehicle – you won’t be able to tax the car without this information.

It’s also beneficial to check the recorded mileage of the car matches the service records and MOT certificates. That way you can be sure that the digital odometers have not been tampered with. You can easily check the MOT status and history of the vehicle online. All you need is the vehicle registration and the make of the car.

Don’t feel pressured into making a purchase

Never commit to buying a car unless you feel perfectly comfortable doing so. Always trust your instinct; a good salesperson will always be open and honest and won’t pressure you into buying something that isn’t right for you.

It is well within your rights to raise any issues regarding the car, even if you feel like you failed to conduct all the proper checks. In these instances, you could be entitled to a right to repair or your money back.


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