Used cars and campervans can make the best bargains by far, since as everyone knows, a brand new vehicle drops in value as soon as you purchase it. By buying a used car, you save yourself that initial drop in value.
And if you’re lucky, you’ll get a car that’s just as reliable, runs as well and looks as good as a new car.
However, there is always a risk when buying a used car, whether it’s from a dealer, a website or a private individual. Remember the saying ‘Buyer Beware’: it applies to used cars more than most purchases.
Here are some tips for avoiding scams and finding the best quality vehicles at low prices:
1) Don’t be swayed by the sales talk. Get a second opinion from someone who knows that make and model of car, ideally a mechanic or someone who has owned one themselves.
2) Do a background check on the car, including its accident and repair history, and a check on whether the seller really does own it.
3) Watch out for lemons, or cars which are well known for needing too many expensive repairs even while they are under warranty. Research consumer reports, car magazines and reviews to find out if that make of car is prone to being unreliable.
4) Visit the car manufacturer’s website to check that that model of car is not under recall. You can also find out from car or campervan insurance quotes how much the car or campervan insurance would cost for that model of vehicle.
5) If you’re not sure, ask a mechanic to check it over. They can tell you more about the car’s service needs and whether or not it is in good condition.
6) Be aware that the dealer will have cleaned and polished and may even have repainted the car to hide any damage or rust spots.
7) Take it for a test drive. Drive it for as long as you can, and pay attention to how it handles, brakes and accelerates, and whether you feel comfortable driving it.
Be wary of pushy sellers: there could be a reason why they are desperate to get rid of it.
If you follow these steps you should have a better chance of avoiding used car pitfalls and driving away in a bargain.