Top 5 Things To Look for When Buying a Used Car

For anyone, enthusiast or not, buying a car can be one of the more stressful purchases you have to go through. New cars offer many advantages but come with the obvious drawbacks of low resale value and higher upfront cost. Used cars on the other hand are often a much better value for money option. With so many cars available, it would be easy to simply dive in and buy the first good looking car that comes along, but here are five things you should consider before making that purchase.

1. Prices and Costs

It’s human nature to try and get the best deal on whatever you might be buying and keep as much of your money in your own pocket as possible. However, offers that seem too good to be true almost always are just that. Before even looking at any suitable cars, the buyer needs to be familiar with the “correct” price for the make and model you’re looking to buy. You can start by using Autotrader’s car valuation checker. Once you have a solid valuation of the car you want, you can approach a dealer expecting to be able to haggle the price down to what the actual value is or you can see a red flag if the price seems dramatically too low. If this is the case, discuss with the dealer as to why the price is as low as it is before making an excited but potentially regrettable purchase.

2. Fuel Types

The choice of fuel type is usually determined on the basis of costs, with diesel engines often being favoured by people that complete more miles on average. At the present time, purely electric cars tend to be limited to city use but this will no doubt become more and more popular over the next few years, thus making them a viable option to consider.

3. Age and Condition

Age and condition are the two things which determine just how ‘used’ a used car is. The motor industry does account for this however, and used cars are almost always priced depending on age and mileage. There is therefore usually very little difference between prices from dealer to dealer. The best policy is always to invest in a genuine undamaged car with a known history. At Reynolds Motor Group, there are various makes and models at fantastic prices, all of which the age and condition have been taken into account before pricing, thus making sure you get a great deal. Check out what used cars in Essex they have to offer.

4. Paperwork checks

Before you can make a decision on buying a car you need to ensure that the paperwork is all correct.

If the owner doesn’t have all of these pieces of paper to hand, it becomes very difficult to commit to buying a car. Replacement documents isn’t always easy and in some cases it isn’t free either.

The key pieces of documentation you need to ask the seller for are:

Registration document or V5C. This tells you the basics about the car’s history such as how many owners it has had and who it is currently registered to.

The MOT – With the system now fully computerised, everything is logged centrally and can be looked up instantly – you can check the MOT status of any car by checking the official government website.

You can easily put a car through an MOT whenever you like, and when you buy a car you must tax it in your name from the outset, as road tax is not transferable when a car is sold. The V5C is the most important document of the lot as this contains name of the person that any speeding tickets or other fines will be sent to.

5. Check Thoroughly and Test Drive

So, all the other checks have come through and you’re now closer than ever to making the purchase. First, check for minor marks such as stone chips or minor surface scuffs that may be quite easily fixed or hardly noticeable but should be pointed out and discussed further. All equipment should be tested and found to be in working order. Only by test driving the car can you be sure there are no unusual noises or rattles, that the brakes operate smoothly and efficiently and most importantly you find it a comfortable drive.


After you’ve done all of this, and everything checks out, go ahead, make the purchase!


2015 Rolls-Royce Wraith Drophead Coupe (Cabriolet) spied for the first time
All-new 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M with 567bhp revealed
How to haggle when buying a car
Top ten 2015 World Car of the Year finalists announced
Volvo unveils the long-awaited S90 saloon ahead of Detroit debut
9 Still to grab car and road technologies for future drivers
Sell Your Motorbike a Better Way with Professional Sellers Fuelled by Passion
Lagonda confirms a new electric SUV
New Audi A1 Sportback offers up to 200 hp
Car enthusiasts hitting the virtual streets for a shot at the supercar dream
Does My Motorbike Need An MOT?
13 Tips to Turn your Used Car into one that Looks New