What to think about before buying a used car
Buying a car is a big investment. The first stage of finding the right car is to identify your needs first. Car companies and car sellers want us to spend our money on their cars. We may end up buying car features and specifications we neither want nor need in the long term.
Use the Car Price Index and find out what is a good price for the particular make and model you are looking for.
Size- Large vehicles can carry more passengers and luggage. But will you be using all that space most of the time or once in a blue moon? Larger vehicles are heavier, use more fuel, can cost more to run and need more space to park.
Type of fuel- Petrol and Diesel are the most common type of fuel. Petrol cars have lighter engines and generally more refined, rev quicker and some people prefer how they sound. Diesel engines have higher torque, are good at motorway overtaking, towing trailers and better at short sections of low speed driving.
Engine size- Larger engines generally have more power, but consume more fuel.
The price difference is covered in this article
There are also other alternatives such as electric and hybrid, but are relatively new technologies and in fewer numbers.
Safety- Check the NCAP safety rating of the car you want to buy. Features such as ABS can increase safety and driver experience.
How did you use your last car? If you have previously owned or had use of a car on a regular basis, ask yourself how you used the car and which features you used the most.
Other factors to consider:
- The number of people regularly riding with you. Will you need space for child seats and for a buggy in the boot?
- The type of driving trips will you take and the length of your commute. Longer commuters may require a more comfortable ride.
- The size of vehicle that will fit best in your garage or parking space?
- The length of time do you expect to keep the car. If you expect to keep the car for a long period, think about your likely needs in the coming years ahead, and consider what the residual value might be in the future.
It is worth taking the time to research where you will service the car. Find out now who can service the car before buying it. You may find you live far away from the service garage for the car you like or parts are hard to come by.
Final tip: research the model you want specifically, and not by brand. Manufacturers have different ratings depending on the model and year the car has been built