Achieving a striking deal on a used car can save upon quite a lot of your money as long as you are looking to invest in a vehicle which will serve your commuting needs for a shorter span of time. The process of buying used cars has become a much simpler process, owing to the internet which furnishes every car buying detail to the T. However, while you are in the process of buying a used car, there is no need to feel pressurized even if the seller is trying to put pressure to close the deal at the earliest. Take your time, do your research extensively and ensure that you are completely sure of your choice before purchasing a used car.
Here are a few tips to bear in mind in order to receive the best of deals and minimize the chances of disappointment later on.
Deciding on which car to buy
The first step in buying a used car is to review your budget and decide which kind of cars you would be able to buy. You need to get an idea of the market of the pre owned cars therefore, check your local adverts on newspapers and magazines and search the web to see what kind of cars you will be able to fetch with your budget. You might chance upon large cars with bigger engines which will give you competitive deals however, you need to consider the maintenance costs such as fuel, car insurance and road taxes before you take a decision.
Purchasing a pre-owned car from a dealership
Under the Sales of Goods Act, if you purchase a used car from the dealership you are entitled to get legal protection. This also means that the dealership needs to disclose details of the user car exactly as it is and therefore, the cars they sell are duly roadworthy, fit for usage and of satisfactory quality. If the dealership sells you a used car which is not fit to be driven, you can prosecute them under criminal offence. And for any reason, should you encounter a sudden problem with your newly bought used car, you can approach the dealership to have the troubles repaired or return your money back. However, a used car bought from dealer will cost you more as compared to purchasing them privately.
Purchasing a used car privately
You can buy a used car privately by directly contacting the previous owner through newspaper advertisements, online or at an auction although in all these cases, you will not be protected under the Sales of Goods Act. Used cars bought privately are transacted at much lower prices. A useful tip is to have the description of the used car given to you in writing therefore, if you encounter any major issues in the vehicle after the purchase has been made, you can challenge the seller later.
Going to see the car
It is important to evaluate the car thoroughly when you see the used car. If you are someone who does not understand the technicalities of the car, ensure that you are accompanied by someone who does. If you have contacted the seller privately, insist on visiting their house to see the car as meeting anywhere else means that you would not know where the seller lives and you might be unable to find him later, should any problem arise after you have made the purchase. You could also consider procuring an independent report on the car you intend to buy, although this might become a tad expensive.
Checking the identity of the user car
Once you have seen the used car and procured the details, you can log onto the official site of DVLA and look up for the following information.
- Colour of the car
- Its Engine Capacity
- Year of Manufacture
- Date of Registration
- Name and details of the owner
- Validity of the latest tax paid
- Vehicle excise duty rate
- The MOT History
Using the registration number and the MOT Test Number (or the V5C Registration Certificate Reference Number) you can find the list of the dates of the previous tests and their corresponding mileage readings and if there was any failure detected.
You can also consider conducting a private history check which is a paid service. However, this check will tell you if the used car has
- Been reported lost or stolen
- Been in a serious accident
- Any outstanding EMI or loan payment against it, and
- The exact mileage as declared to you by the seller
Popular companies such as RAC and AA offer these services online.
Paying for the used car
You can pay for the car by cheque, cash, credit card or bank draft as agreed upon with the dealership or the seller directly. If you are making the purchase from the dealership and paying with your credit card, you will be protected under the Consumer Credit Act. You might have to wait for the payment to clear before you can take the car home. In any case, it is imperative to make an written agreement with regards to the transaction or at least a signed receipt with the date and the details of the purchase mentioned. Make sure that the name and address of the buyer and the seller is clearly mentioned along with the details of the car such as it’s registration number and price.
After the deal is made
Once the payment is made, both the buyer and the seller need to fill in the V5C Registration form after which it has to be forwarded to the DVLA. Do not forget to collect the receipts of any prior servicing or repairs done including the MOT Certificate if the car you bought is more than three years old. Ensure that the steppani and the necessary tools are there in the used car. Ask for the spare car keys and the code for the radio.
Things to remember
You cannot make a claim against any fault which was disclosed to you by the seller before the deal was made unless you can prove that the fault is much worse than what was disclosed to you. Also, you cannot flag any fault which may have been present from beforehand and had escaped your notice while you reviewed the car such as rusts and dents.
You will be in a position to claim a complete or a partial refund only in case if you chance upon undisclosed faults soon after buying the used car.