Used car buying checklist

October 30, 2014 By Usher

When buying a used car it is always best to get buying advice and proceed with caution before making your purchase. The used car industry has unfortunately gained a bad reputation so make sure you have all the information you need before proceeding.  There are various steps you can take before signing on the bottom line.

Firstly, do your own research when looking at how much to pay for your used car.  Try to find out the average price of the car you are looking to buy.  You can do this by phoning round some car dealerships, look on the internet or have a look at “Parker’s Car Guide”, which offers you a lot of information regarding used car prices and buying advice. Other things to consider are how much the road tax will be as well as running costs, such as petrol and servicing.


You may also need to apply for a car loan so start to look around for the best deals.  It’s best not to just look at the typical rate advertised, look for how much it would cost in total over the full term of the loan. Again getting buying advice from a trusted financial expert is beneficial.

Secondly, go to a reputable car dealer.  Ask your friends and family and friends where they got their used cars and find out what their purchasing experience was. Word of mouth recommendations are very valuable, time saving and reassuring for buying advice. Another bit of buying advice is to look at the car dealership’s credentials to see if they are registered with any of the approval schemes.

You can also look for used cars in magazines such as Auto Trader which often has over 350,000 cars, bikes, trucks etc for sale at any one time.

You don’t even need to get off your sofa to buy a car with people selling cars on auction sites such as eBay.  If you do this then it is best to take someone who has a good knowledge of cars with you, or even an AA mechanic.  They can check the car out mechanically and possibly even negotiate on price. The AA may charge you for this service but you should be able to get a deal on the car by having a professional with you.

Thirdly, ask questions. Try not to be intimidated by the people selling the car.  You are about to spend a significant amount of money so the more questions you ask the more you will feel comfortable about your purchase.  Check out how many owners the car has had, has it ever been in an accident, are there any mechanical problems and is there a full service history.

Once you are sure you have made the right choice, enjoy your new vehicle.