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Buying a used car

Purchasing a car – whether it is brand new, from a pre-owned car dealer or maybe a private seller? is among the priciest things you’ll actually purchase, next to purchasing a house.

Purchasing a second hand car is fraught with pitfalls, but in case you do the research of yours it is able to additionally help you save a huge number of pounds.

The primary problems with used cars are:

it can be hard to make certain you know what you are getting

it can be hard to understand what the car is worth

When purchasing a second hand car you might in addition need to look around for car insurance before going ahead and also purchase it; a hefty insurance costs might eliminate any savings you aspire to produce.
The rights of yours when purchasing a second hand car

A report by work of Fair Trading uncovered customers purchasing a second hand car shed an average of 425 each? a total of 85m a year? through needing to correct unresolved faults which are the dealers’ obligation to fix.

based on Citizen’s Advice used car sales continue to be one of the greatest aspects of consumer criticism across the UK

there are checks, preparation, and precautions that you are able to do before buying a second hand car

not merely do they really enable you to bag a great deal, it also signifies you do not wind up purchasing a car that’s been severely damaged, stolen or perhaps illegally altered

you still have legitimate rights even in case you do not do the appropriate checks; you might have a legitimate to a repair, the price of a repair, or a few or most of your cash back

The rights of yours when purchasing a used car from a dealer

A used car dealer is a company specialising in selling cars.

When purchasing from a dealer look for:

an identified dealer with a great reputation

a dealer which is a part of trade association like the Retail Motor Industry Federation

a dealer that comply with the The Motor Ombudsman’s code of practice

and has their cars inspected by an impartial engineer or motoring organisation

The rights of yours when purchasing a used car privately

This is among probably the riskiest ways of used car trading.

you do not have so much legal protection as purchasing the car from a dealer

the car should equal seller’s description; it should be road worthy and additionally the seller should have the legitimate to promote it to you

you’re in charge of making sure the car is healthy for purpose before you purchase it

some dishonest pre-owned car dealers pretend to be private owners to offload stolen or faulty cars

The rights of yours when purchasing a used car from an auction

Auctions do not provide similar legal protection as purchasing from a dealer so ensure you understand the auction house’s conditions and terms of business.

  1. Be sure to check out the used car’s history

Anywhere you buy your used car you are going to need to do a number of easy checks to decrease the chances of yours of ending up with a car that is being sold illegally or perhaps has had significant repairs.

A personal history check – also referred to as a data check’ is going to cost up to twenty.

A personal history test will tell you:

the car was reported stolen

the seller still owes money on the car; which would mean you might wind up in debt in case you purchase the car

the car has in the past been in a major accident

the car is showing the proper mileage

the car was written off, repaired then returned to the road

You are able to buy a car history check by searching online for sites that check vehicle details.

  1. Test pre-owned car’s details with the DVLA

To accomplish this you are going to need the following information:

registration number (on the amount plate)

MOT test number


make and model

You are able to go online and also used the DVLA’s totally free online vehicle info checker

The info the DVLA holds should equal the dealer’s/seller’s info.
Used MOTs and cars

Vehicles require routine MOT testing to ensure they’re roadworthy you are able to look at the MOT story of a car for free on

If you have some gaps in the MOT history you might want to hesitate about going forward with any order. Remember though that a car may not have required an MOT in case it was seldom used or even registered off road – statutory off road notification or even SORN.

  1. Test pre-owned car’s logbook

The vehicle’s V5C registration document provides specifics of the registered keeper and most of the vehicle’s previous keepers.

this is a white paper issued by the Driver and also Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

if the log book – V5C registration certificate – does not equal the car on the DVLA information you have to report this on the DVLA

  1. Test pre-owned car’s Vehicle Identification Number

When looking at a pre-owned car, look for the VIN of its (Vehicle Identification Number), that can generally be found at the foundation of the windscreen, under the bonnet, and also stamped into the framework underneath the mats by the driver’s seat.

make certain the VIN complements the VIN discovered in the V5C registration document

  1. Exercise a used car’s worth

Do the research of yours by checking out price guides and looking at similar used cars for sale online and also in car magazines.

Arrange car viewings for the morning, and also at seller’s home if possible. Don’t go when it is dark or raining because this may hide defects, like scratches and dents.

Check out beneath the car and under the bonnet for rust plus any signs that the vehicle’s been in a crash.
When not to buy a second hand car

A simple assessment of a used car is able to enable you to pinpoint some clear concerns that means you must stay away from purchasing it.

For example:

the locks will vary from each other, as revised locks might indicate that the car’s been reduced into

signs of forced entry – ensure all of the windows, like some sunroof, wide open and close normally

mileage? in case appears way too small for any age and also look of the car the odometer might have been tampered with, this is called referred to as clocking’


A cut-and-shut’ is where parts of 2 or maybe more vehicles are welded together. This is illegal, however, you have to look out for this. You are able to check by taking up trims and carpets for symptoms of hidden welds and also look at paintwork which does not match.

A complete history check before purchasing a second hand car is going to show whether the car’s been taken or written off? a cut-and-shut can be both.

  1. Take a test drive on the used car

Generally view the car in weather that is dry in the daylight. In case you’re purchasing from a private seller do this from their house so you’ve the address of theirs.

drive for no less than fifteen minutes on various road types and try driving for an hour in case you are able to.

you might want to get an unbiased report this is going to give you comprehensive info about the car’s situation and costs roughly hundred to 200

The Motor Ombudsman is going to have tips on where to pick up an independent report in the area of yours. The Motor Ombudsman is a government backed self regulatory body of the motoring industry.

Insuring a second hand car

Be sure you’re insured to get the car, you might be insured via your own personal car insurance but check with your insurance provider initially.

When you do not have insurance, a trader or maybe private seller’s insurance could protect you – you will have to ask them.

you may wish to search quotes for temporary car insurance

do not try out a car in case you are not insured as you will be liable for any harm you cause and you can get points in your licence

Grab a car insurance quote

See a selection of car insurance quotes in just a couple minutes if you compare with Uswitch seven. The rights of yours when having to pay for your used car

When agreeing on a cost for your used car, do not hesitate to haggle. The Money Advice Service has helpful guidance on negotiating when purchasing a car.
Documents you need when purchasing a second hand car

Be sure you find the initial (not a photocopy) of:

the log book (the V5C registration certificate)

the valid MOT test document

By no means purchase a car without the log book.

You will have to pay vehicle tax once you buy the car as the seller can’t transfer some tax they’ve paid
The cooling off period when purchasing a second hand car

The phrase cooling off period’ will be the stretch of time you’ve to improve your head about a product you have bought from a distance.

The statutory minimum a seller should provide you with is fourteen days. in case you’ve purchased the car of yours from a private seller there’s absolutely no cooling off period if you’ve purchased it in person.

whether you’ve purchased the car of yours from a pre-owned car dealer, the cooling off period is only going to use if you’ve purchased it via finance, as financial products? like loans? need to involve a 14 day cooling off period.

The cooling off period only applies whether the car is roadworthy plus you’ve changed the mind of yours.

  1. How to purchase your used car
    Paying out with cash

Paying out with cash may be the cheapest method to purchase a used car as you’ll find no additional interest or costs and usually you receive a price reduction for paying cash.

But if a thing fails with the car you will not have the defense that some credit arrangements offer
Paying by credit or perhaps debit card

You may have protection in case the card provider of yours has a chargeback scheme. Paying via credit card means you are able to be versatile with producing bigger payments when you are able to pay for them

You will find protection for products costing between hundred and 30,000, even in case you simply settled for a tiny portion of the price on credit card (this is known as area 75′ protection)

Though you’ve paying interest, making it costlier than paying with cash
Paying out making use of an electronic transfer

Transferring the cash using a bank transfer could be much more preferable to carrying a lot of cash.

You are able to spend with a CHAPS payment but there’ll be a fee? and the bank of yours might have an upper limit on the quantity you are able to transfer.
Paying using finance placed by a trader

You are going to have paying interest, though you can have more protection because not only do you get defense via the dealer, you will also get defense via the finance business.
Purchasing a car through hire purchase

This is another kind of mortgage but suggests you do not have the car until the final payment is made and the car can easily be reclaimed in case you cannot continue the payments.
How you can save on car insurance

Used cars are able to be much less expensive to insure than brand new cars, but you will find additional issues you’re able to do to decrease the price of your car insurance.

You will find a few things you are able to do that may decrease the cost of your car insurance:

Having a black colored box fitted

Reducing the mileage of yours

Parking in a private garage or even driveway

Considering a multi car insurance policy

Selecting a car from a reduced insurance group

Grab a car insurance quote

See a selection of car insurance quotes in just a couple minutes if you compare with Uswitch
Black box car insurance

Having a black colored box equipped means your driver behaviour is monitored. The telematics box reports on the way you accelerate, brake and negotiate sharp bends and what time the drive of yours and also about what types of roads.

The information is analysed, and in case your scores are good, your car insurance might be discounted as time passes.
Reducing mileage

In case you drive fewer miles in annually this may end up in a lower car insurance premium.
Parking in a personal driveway

Parking in a private garage or maybe driveway also can attract a discount. Car insurers usually takes into consideration in which you park, depending in which you live.
A multi car insurance policy

If your driveway is muddled with cars, you might want to think about a multi car insurance policy
Selecting a car from a lower insurance group

The lower the worth of the car as well as the cheaper it’s repairing, the less car insurance you might have to pay.