Many motorists are anxious when it comes to purchasing a used car, which is a shame because it should be viewed as an exciting time. The reason for this anxiety is the fact that the used car market is famously hard to navigate and filled with fraudulent sellers, used car scams and unsafe automobiles. Here are a few ways that you can protect and keep yourself safe when shopping for a second-hand automobile.
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to visit a reputable used car dealership. It can be tempting to use a private seller because they can be more affordable, but you do not get any consumer protection with this route. Instead, research reputable used car dealerships online and make sure that they are RAC approved ( certificate confirming the vehicle has passed the RAC 82 point Approved Vehicle Preparation standard) This means that each automobile has been rigorously tested to ensure that it is safe to purchase.
No matter where you look to buy a vehicle from, you should always get a vehicle history check carried out. Often referred to as an HPI Vehicle check. It can be impossible to understand a car’s history simply by looking at it, which means that even the seller could be unaware of its past. A history check can reveal if there is outstanding finance, if it has been previously written off, if it has been recorded as stolen, the number of previous owners etc. This is the best line of defence against used car scams and provides complete peace of mind that the vehicle you are buying is the real thing.
It is also important to obtain the MOT history of the car that you are looking at. This is comparable to a medical history and will show if there are any major or recurring issues with the vehicle, as well as the MOT status, renewal date, road tax status etc. Carefully look over the advisory notes and beware of a vehicle with multiple MOT failures as this could end up costing you a lot of money in the long run.
It is easy enough to look over the vehicle and take it for a test drive, but you will want to know that it is fit for the road mechanically. The best way to do this is to hire a mechanic to look the automobile over – this guarantees that it is in good working condition and will give you confidence going into the purchase. Another option is to get a vehicle health check where your oil, tyres, lights, exhaust, brakes, suspension and fluid levels are checked for any problems.
It can be daunting to enter the used car market and especially when you hear so many horror stories. By following the above steps, it should help you to steer clear of scams, fraudulent sellers and unsafe vehicles to find exactly what you are looking for.