For many motorists, used cars are the best option. The fact that they are cheaper than new vehicles makes it far easier for someone who is shopping on a budget to find and buy the right one for them.
However, if you are planning to buy a second-hand vehicle there are a few things that you need to bear in mind. We have come up with three important steps you need to take before you part with your cash and buy a used car.
Be clear about what you want
Before you go out shopping for any kind of vehicle, be it old or new you need to take the time to sit down and think about what you need. The last thing you need to do is to get it home only to realise, too late, that there is not enough room between the two baby seats for an adult to sit. Day to day this may not be an issue, but it would be a shame not to be able to take Nan to the park with the kids when she visits. To avoid making this type of mistake sit down and think about all of the activities you are planning to use your vehicle for, and work out what you need as a minimum in the way of space.
Narrow down the options
Once you have a list of the basic features you need and know your budget, you can start to narrow down your options. Online car websites like this one are a great way to do this. Using the search feature you can quickly see what type of car you can afford, and go through to our articles section to check the specs of those makes and models that you think would be a good fit.
At this stage, it is a good idea to check how much you will have to pay to keep the vehicle running. You need to find out how much servicing, road tax and insurance costs. It is also a good idea to find out about fuel economy.
Be aware of any issues
Now that you have a short list of makes and models you can start to research them in more detail. Starting with the one you like the look of the most go online and do a search for recalls, troubleshooting and common problems. Carrying out these three basic searches should uncover any know issues with the make and model you are considering buying.
Armed with this information you will know which areas to pay particular attention to when you inspect the car prior to taking it for a test run. For example, if you know that they are prone to electrical problems you can spend a few extra minutes checking the electric windows, wipers and lights are still in good working order.
As well as doing the above, it is, of course, important to have all of the usual checks carried out before you actually buy. It is worthwhile paying to have a finance check done, and for the car to be looked over by a mechanic.