How to Buy a Car and Not Get Burnt


Buying a second hand car privately is one of the best ways to get a good deal on a vehicle. You can walk away with a fantastic motor that will give you years of service for far less than it could cost if you bought it brand new from a dealership. The problem is there are many traps you can fall into when buying directly from a private seller. If you’re nervous about buying a used vehicle there are simple steps you can take to avoid falling into these pitfalls.

#1 Know the Seller

The first thing to do is ask around your friends to see if anyone you know is selling a car. If they aren’t selling a vehicle and don’t know anyone else who is you will have to look further afield. Don’t worry though; you can check the seller out with the following steps:

● Ask for a landline (not a mobile) and give it a call to check that it’s a genuine number and not a phone box or the number of someone else’s home.
● Insist on meeting the seller at their address and nowhere else. When you get to the address check that it matches the address on the logbook.
● Look for signs that the seller actually lives at the address – arrive slightly early so they won’t be waiting for you outside.

If you suspect the seller is lying to you and that they don’t really live where they claim it’s best to walk away. Always listen to your instincts, you could be wrong but is it worth ending up without a vehicle and losing all your funds for your new car?

#2 Check the Vehicle

When you go to look at the car you will need to read the paperwork and inspect the vehicle. Find the VIN (vehicle identification number) on the paperwork and the VIN plates to make sure they match. You can find the VIN in three different locations, on the windscreen, in the engine compartment and on the body of the car. If you suspect the numbers have been tampered with or you find they don’t match the paper work just walk away. If you’re not confident about carrying out this check bring someone along with you to help.

#3 Learn about the History of the Car

If there have been other owners they should be recorded in the paperwork. There’s no reason why you can’t give these previous owners a call to ask them about the history of the vehicle while it was in their hands. You will also need to ask about the service history, but don’t make your final decision based on this paperwork as they can be easily faked. The actual receipts from the garage have a great weight as they are difficult to tamper with without leaving any obvious signs.

#4 Check the Price

There are plenty of services that will provide you with a guideline price for the car you’re about to buy. If the deal is too good to be true take it as a warning sign, if it’s too high start haggling hard. Remember to check your budget and find out how much the car will be to insure with a company like Direct Gap. You must stay within your monthly budget and be able to keep up the insurance payments.

If you follow the tips above you can avoid many of the problems that are sometimes experienced when buying cars from private sellers.

Image Source: FontFont / Flickr - Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons 2.0

At Motor Heads we appreciate every opinion! except SPAM! Comments are moderated, so if you want to link to your motoring site please ensure its relevant to the conversation, otherwise your comment will be removed.

Post a Comment

At Motor Heads we appreciate every opinion! except SPAM! Comments are moderated, so if you want to link to your motoring site please ensure its relevant to the conversation, otherwise your comment will be removed.

Post a Comment (0)

Previous Post Next Post