Car buying


Buying a car: what you need to know

Buying a car can be a big investment. So how do you make sure you get the perfect car?

New or second hand?

First, you'll need to decide if you want a brand new car or if you want to buy second hand.

A new car will usually come with a warranty, plus they tend to be more economical with fuel and possibly cheaper to run

On the other hand, second hand cars usually cost much less. Even if it's just a year old, it will be much cheaper than buying a brand new car. You could also get a warranty on some second hand cars, but you may have to buy this separately.

Where to buy

  • Most new drivers will buy a second car remenbermost car owners usely sell there car because there is somthing wrong with it.

  • Private ads - whether in a local newspaper or specialist car magazine, this is where you'll find people selling their car. You can often find a bargain, but you won't have any information about the seller.

  • Auction - Many dealers buy their cars this way. You can pick up a real bargain, but you'll be competing with the professionals so be confident.

  • Online - the newest way to buy. Most car companies have their own website where you can track down a new or approved second hand car.

Buyer beware

If you're buying second hand - especially from a private seller - you have no guarantee that the car is in good condition. It could even be a stolen car that the seller is trying to pass off as legitimate.

Here are a few things to check to make sure you don't get caught out:

  • You could text the reg Number of the car your thinking of buying to 83600 they will charge about £3 but they will send you two txts about the car I used them its well worth the money.

  • tyres - look out for uneven wear as it's a good sign of problems with the suspension.

  • exhaust - smoke bellowing out is always a cause for concern, whatever colour it is some people will drain the oil from the engine so when you take it for a test drive its not blowing smoke so check the oil.

  • oil - use the dipstick to check the oil. Black, sludgy oil is a sign of a tired engine and a car that's been poorly looked after.

  • bodywork - look for kinks in the metal and changes in paint variations. These are signs of possible crash damage and could devalue the car.

  • identity - every car has a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on its registration documents. Check that it's the same as the one on the car's engine. If not, the car is not legitimate and you should definitely steer clear.

Get a good deal

Wherever you buy from, it's very rare to have a set price for a car - even if it's brand new. So don't be embarrassed to haggle for a discount!

  • Start low and be realistic about what you're expecting to pay. The dealer won't sell unless it's a good price for them too, so sit tight until they offer a price you're happy with.

  • If you hold out, you'll find they should have the car you want. If not, there are plenty of other dealers so walk away if you're not 100% satisfied.