If you are in the market for a used car, then a little preparation and care will give you the best chance of securing an excellent deal that you will be happy with. Failing to do either could land you with problems.
Firstly, you should carry out some research on your short list of possible cars. You need to consider the running costs in terms of economy and servicing costs, along with the insurance premium which can vary hugely depending on car make and model.
Will you be buying from a dealer or will it be a private purchase? The former is much safer. However many jokes there might be about used car salesmen, most of them are highly respectable businessmen and the last thing they would wish to do is to damage their reputation. It is much better for them if their customers get a deal that they are happy with as this will mean that their custom is likely to be retained in the future. It is always better to retain customers than to always have to be going after new ones.
Although you might have to pay a little more for your car through a dealer than if you bought privately, with a dealer it is generally possible to get some sort of warranty that will give you confidence that the car won’t fall apart as soon as you drive it off the forecourt.
If you do buy privately then you need to be very careful that the person selling the car has the right to do so. If you bought a car that was still subject to a finance arrangement such as hire purchase, then the hire purchase company could simply reclaim the car and you would lose all your money.
You should also check the registration document to make sure that the seller is the registered keeper. If he is not then you need to find out why as the car might be stolen. Always view the car at the seller’s home rather than as sometimes happens meeting half way such as at a motorway service station.