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If you’re thinking about buying a used car this season, it’s well worth taking some tips from the experts to make sure you enter the forecourt well prepared.
Gaining the right knowledge when it comes to car buying is essential if you want to benefit from the best deals currently available, so it’s important to stay cool and not let your excitement cloud your judgement.
Follow the five simple rules outlined by the Trusted Dealers experts, to ensure you make no mistakes when it comes to buying the perfect second-hand car.
It’s always worth taking along a friend for support when you’re viewing potential cars as they can provide you with a second opinion as well as be a witness to your exchange with the sales person or private seller. They might even be able to think of questions you haven’t brought up. On a test drive, a friend can listen for any strange noises which might arise whilst you focus on how the car drives.
Friendly people sell cars
It’s important to remember that friendly approachable sales people are the ones who sell cars, so you should feel confident to ask any questions you might have without feeling intimidated or pressurised. If a sales person or private seller is evasive or too pushy then it’s time to walk away. There could be an underhand reason why the person is keen to make a quick sale, so it’s better not to feel pressured and know you have the freedom to take your time in making the right decision.
Test drives are essential
Taking a test drive is very important as it provides the only chance you will get to find out as much about the performance of the car as you can. A simple spin around the block is not enough, you’ll really need to take the car out for a good half an hour to be able to test it on a variety of road surfaces to include the motorway. Don’t forget to test all the controls to make sure they are in good working order and try every gear including reverse. If it’s a private seller, make sure your insurance will actually cover you to drive the car – most dealers will provide cover for test drives.
Check your paperwork
Before you make the sale, make sure that all the paperwork is correct. Check the registration document (known as the V5C) and make sure that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIC) is identical with the car. Make certain that the registration number, colour and description are also an exact match, and if you’re buying from a private seller, ensure the keeper’s name and address shown on the document are also the seller’s.
Time to bargain
When you’re ready to make a purchase, don’t let your excitement get the better of you, it’s important to stay cool and haggle hard to ensure you get the best deal you can. Unless you’re at a car supermarket which usually operate a strict fixed-price, there should always be room for some negotiation if you play your cards right. Decide what you’d be willing to pay and then start a good deal lower than this price, so you have room to work your way up if needed. Once you’ve offered a price, wait for the seller to respond before you improve the offer, and if you’re buying from a dealer who won’t move on price, try to get some extras thrown in such as free road tax, a set of floor mats or a free tank of fuel.