Looking for your next car? If you’re getting back on the road again or driving for the first time, we’ll have you sorted. Here are some quick tips for buying a used car and, most importantly, things to look out for so you get the car that’s best equipped for you and the most value for your money.
Buying a used car nowadays can be complicated. With the demand for used cars increasing, it can be hard to know where the best place to look that will leave you with both a reliable car, a happy wallet and additionally peace of mind. However, we’ve pinned it down to three options on where to look and listed the “pros” and “cons” for each; for prospective buyers interested in quality used cars ideally in your preferred budget.
Before inspection, check the car’s history: what is the recorded mileage of the car on first inspection? Ask to see what the recorded mileage was on its most recent MOT test. When you know this information, reflect, then ask yourself if this car is best for short or long distance. This may be a factor to consider on your purchase when looking.
Look at the engine before you buy: it could mean the difference between a successful buy or a pass on purchase. Is the condition good? Has it been replaced or changed over the years?
The exterior of the car: are there any marks, scratches, dents or sign of DIY welding repair jobs? Any accidental damage? Make sure to note down any damages if you see them. A respectable seller will inform you of any aesthetic damage ahead of a viewing that might impact its value or overall price.
Does it look like the carpet has been refitted or altered drastically? Are there any signs of tampering: repair jobs gone wrong? Even the inside of a car is just as important as the outside: you want to make sure nothing is hidden, so look closely if you need to.
Tyre tread length, to be safe and in line with UK law, must legally be 1.6mm minimum. To check if your tyres are safe, inspect them closely. Do they appear to be a low- depth or worn down? If a seller expects a sale, the car really should be ready for getting on the road quickly, but it’s safest to check levels and inspect yourself due to this risk.
When first getting a feel for the car, the first thing you do is start the engine before taking it out on a test drive. Listen: what does it sound like? Does it sound strange? A longer-than-normal waiting period before ignition? You want to also make sure there are no muffled or strange noises emitting from the engine. The noise from an efficient, working engine is clear and not irregular.
Check the temperature gauge before and after you start the vehicle: is it working? Are there any indications of overheating or damage? It is important to check this as it could be a potentially major safety issue that prevents the car going to sale.
When testing out the brakes, ask yourself: do they work quickly and without too much force? As an important safety feature, if you are uncertain of the quality, always enquire into a HPI test and the MOT history with the seller.
Aircon, radio, windows and locks: all things that are going
to be the essential working part of any car on your journeys. Do they all work
properly and to your liking? Any scratches on windows? Minor issues are
important to keep in mind, they might not be putting you off from purchasing but
they will be a potential additional cost going forward.
Are the lights working? Are they particularly bright?
Warning lights are safety indicators, and it is a legal requirement that they
are working when driving.
Does the control feel easy, comfortable and smooth? If the wheel makes any strange noises, or if it is tough to steer or change gears, factor in the additional cost of fix or if it is even in a safe condition to drive.
Important things to check:
When buying privately, it is important to note that there are varying levels of security, and you have less guaranteed legal protection. Understanding “Buyer’s Rights” is essential in knowing where you stand. If you have a problem with your used car once purchased, investigate and see if you are eligible for a legal right to repair or compensation.
Having learnt where to look, things to check and documents to obtain: what comes next? That’s up to you.
There are many options available but the most important factor of buying any used car comes down to personal preference and what car you feel suits you best.
Liking a car itself is just as important as liking the price tag.
Foray’s range of used cars take this into consideration: what buyers want from a used car and how to easily prevent the worries that come with it.
Second-hand cars are just that: second hand. However, our Ford-approved dealership considers that quality and safety can be a guaranteed promise when buying pre-loved cars. All used cars sold with Foray Motor Group are available with Warranty 4 Life which additionally includes “unlimited breakdown and call out assistance cover.”
Discover Foray’s range of used cars and find your dream car today.