How to Avoid the Potential Pitfalls of Buying a Used Car

When you are buying a car, there are many different things that you have to consider. Many people may recommend that you buy a used car. There are many advantages of choosing a used car over a new one, mostly financial advantages.

Used cars are almost always cheaper to buy than new ones. In fact, new cars are estimated to lose around 10% of their value as soon as they leave the forecourt of the dealership and lose 40% of their value after the first year of being owned. This means that new cars are almost always an unwise financial investment.

Unless owning a brand new vehicle is very important to you, purchasing a used car is probably a better decision. However, there are some pitfalls to avoid when it comes to buying a used vehicle. In this article we will list some of these potential pitfalls and what you can do to avoid them when purchasing a used car.

Lack of Choice

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When you choose a new car, you are more likely to have a wide range of different options in any brand and model of vehicle that you choose. Choosing a factory fresh car usually means that you can choose from different colors, for example. When you buy a used car, you will only be able to choose that specific vehicle. This can be annoying, but the benefits of a used car might make it worth it.

High Mileage

One of the main issues with buying a used car is that the car may have many thousands of miles on the clock. This may not affect the performance much, but it can affect the value of the vehicle if you are planning to sell it again in the future.

There Could Be Hidden Damage or Degradation

Although miles on the clock are not themselves a problem, a vehicle that has a high mileage and a lot of usage is also likely to have suffered more wear and tear. Common wear and tear can often be rectified with repairs. However, there may also be serious damage that less honest vendors may hide from you. This could be damage to internal components that you cannot even see!

It Could Have Been Stolen

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One issue that you may encounter when shopping for used cars is that some of the vehicles on offer may have a shady past. Stolen vehicles often find their way onto the used car market. Thankfully, you can check out Caranalytics reg check to find out if a vehicle has a hidden past and may wish to avoid it.

It Could Have Been Written Off

Being stolen is not the only unfortunate thing that could have happened to a vehicle in its past. It is possible that a used vehicle may have even been involved in an accident and written off. If any kind of insurance claim was involved in this event, the person selling the vehicle—whether they are a licensed dealer or a private individual—is required by law to declare that the vehicle has previously been written off when they sell it.

What to Check When Buying a Used Car

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Most of these potential issues with buying a used car can be avoided by simply purchasing your vehicle from a reputable dealership, whether it is franchised or independent. If you check out a car from a private classified ad, you can still avoid the potential pitfalls if you make the correct checks. Here are the things that you should check when buying a used car.

Does the seller have the legal right to make the sale?

When it comes to private sales, the seller must have the full legal right to make the sale. If they have bought the vehicle on finance and not yet made all of the payments, they are not legally permitted to sell you the vehicle. If you buy a car that is not legally owned by the seller, you may be at risk of having it seized from you and losing the money that you spent on it.

Has the vehicle been written off?

Carrying out a car history check can let you know if the vehicle has ever been written off and the seller has not disclosed this.

Does the vehicle have a warranty?

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Some used vehicles that are sold are still under the original manufacturer’s warranty. If this is the case, this warranty would transfer to you as the new owner. Even if the dealer does not offer a warranty, you may still be able to get hold of an aftermarket warranty. It is also worth asking the dealer why they are unable to offer a warranty if this is the case.

Are there any signs of damage?

Of course, it goes without saying that vehicles with signs of obvious damage are to be avoided. However, there is also a chance that a vehicle has been previously damaged and later repaired. There are ways of checking this. For example, check that the vehicle is level on the road. You should also check that all of the body panels are the same shade of color and that the joins all seem even. Doors should all close neatly and easily. If you are not sure about anything, you may be able to use a car inspection service.

Does the vehicle drive without issues?

If possible, taking the vehicle for a test drive is recommended. Doing this can be a great way of seeing how the vehicle generally performs and can alert you to any potential issues. Why not ask the vendor if you can take it for a short test drive? After all, you need to know if it is right for you or not! If you can take it for a test drive, try and keep an eye and an ear out for things such as how the steering feels, how it feels to drive over rough surfaces, and whether or not there are any banging, rattling, or tapping noises coming from anywhere.

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