Are you thinking of buying a used car?It’s that time when you need to buy a new car and we all know how challenging it can be but it doesn’t have to be if you are prepared and ready. Car salesmen can sometimes take advantage if you don’t know much about cars and can talk down to you or even worse mislead you into buying what they want to sell and not what you actually need!Here are five must-ask questions for buying a new car…..What is the maintenance history of the vehicle?One of the most important things to know about a used new car is how well it has been taken care of and what long-term issues it might have. Ask to see the vehicle service history and the MOT certificates.If there is no service history on the vehicle it may be worth taking a look on the RAC website https://www.rac.co.uk/buying-a-car - for as little as £9.99 you can get a vehicle history check or a full vehicle inspection from £99 to give you peace of mind. Is the car accident free? Look for indications that the vehicle has been involved in an accident – Look for “signs of inconsistent gaps between panels or mismatched colours that could be a sign of extensive repairs”, “traces of paint spray on handles, window seals or plastic mouldings” or “any unusual looking welding under the bonnet or in the boot”.What is the value of the vehicle? It's easy to research the true value of the vehicle you want to purchase for free by visiting www.parkers.co.uk This will help give you a better idea of the estimated resale value of the vehicle to compare to the list price of the dealership or private seller. If there is a difference of more than a few hundred pounds, this could be cause for concern. Do the basic systems show any red-flag problems? While it's ideal to take your car to an experienced mechanic such as Guide Bridge MOT & Service to get it checked out before purchase, sometimes a great deal presents itself and you have to act quickly. If you are at all handy, it's pretty easy to check the major systems of a used car for any red-flag problems.In general, the quickest things to check are the engine and transmission oil, brakes, engine power, air conditioning and coolant, frame, and exhaust.A few things to keep in mind:
- If the engine or transmission oil is excessively dirty or has any flecks of metal present or if the car has any obvious leaks, DO NOT purchase the car, as it likely has a worn engine or transmission from poor maintenance.
- If the tail pipe gives off a steamy smoke with a sweet smell, DO NOT buy the car, as it may have a leaky or blown head gasket.
- If the car does not sit level on the ground, DO NOT buy it, as this could indicate structural damage.
- Does the engine lag excessively when you accelerate or make any strange noises? Are there worn or cracked belts under the hood? Are there any warning lights illuminated on the dash? Do the breaks squeak or take a long time to depress? These things could be cause for concern.