Buying a Car
The decision to purchase a car is a big one. Buying second hand is a good option if you are working on a budget however it can be a process fraught with difficulties. There are a lot of things to think about, many of which are absolutely essential if you want to make sure that what you are getting is worth the money.
When going to view a car, make sure you have a checklist with you of things to tick off and questions to ask so you do not forget anything important. If you know anyone that has some mechanical knowledge it is advisable to take them along with you as they may spot things those without any specialist knowledge might miss.
Setting Your Budget
The first thing you must do when thinking about buying a car is work out exactly how much you are willing to spend. Remember, there is more to this than just the cost of the car. If you have a car which you are going to sell, find out how much you will get for it both if you sell it privately and if you part-exchange it with a dealer before making your decision.
Think about whether or not you will need a loan. It is also important to decipher whether the car may need repairs in the near future and to calculate how much this is likely to cost. You also need to set aside additional funds for insurance, road tax, fuel, MOTs and services.
Define Your Criteria
Next, think about what you are going to be using the car for and what features you need it to have. Make an additional list of desirable features that you would like it to possess but do not necessarily need.
Will it mainly be you in the car? Or do you have a family that you will be driving around? Do you need a lot of boot space for a family holiday or to transport pets or will it just be your briefcase and your sandwiches which need carrying? How many doors do you want it to have and how much will it cost to tax, insure and repair? Do you have any particular preference on the make? For example if you like a Ford car then look for a local used car dealer to see what is available.
Looking at the Car
Make sure you have a list of questions ready to ask relating to its past and current condition. Find out about any ongoing problems it may have and if you are buying from a private seller it is a good idea to view the car and carry out the transaction, should you decide to buy, at their premises.
Be sure to look at the car in daylight as dents and imperfections are hard to spot in the dark. Always take a vehicle for a test drive prior to purchase to make sure it is comfortable and to listen out for any potential problems.