A brand new vehicle is not for everyone; after all most brand new cars will lose approximately 40% of what they paid initially within the first year. Although purchasing a second hand car can save you money, there are a few thing you should bear in mind to avoid being ripped off.
Look out for:
⦁    Clocking- illegal removal of miles on the clock
⦁    Car cloning – copied number plates to make a stolen car legal
⦁    Cut and shut – 2 damaged cars welded together
To avoid this, you should request a full service history and check the validity of the vehicle online where possible.
Stick to your budget
Choose an amount of money you are happy to spend and keep in mind what you will be paying out on insurance, tax and possible repairs before signing. If using finance look around first and ensure the repayments are affordable.
Price comparison
Purchasing a car can be exciting, but you should do your homework and look at similar makes and models to ensure you are getting the best value for money.
Never view a vehicle in poor weather or lighting
When viewing your potential new vehicle, book a time slot during the day so that you can spot any problems before you part with your money. The same can be said for rain and snow which may hide aesthetic problems.
Look for consistency in service history
Always ask for the service history so you know what work has already been undertaken. If you notice that the same part needs replacing then the chances are you will face the same problem. Also look for any in discrepancies in the history.
Check the registered keeper
Ensure you are purchasing the vehicle from the registered owner NOT the keeper as this will ensure you are not purchasing a vehicle that still belongs to another person. Never buy off anyone other than the actual owner.
Does the deal seem too good to be true?
As the old saying goes ‘if it seems too good to be true, the chances are it is’. If the vehicle seems low on mileage for the age then ask questions. Of course there are bargains out there where people will own a car but rarely use it but if it looks well worn and something just doesn’t add up walk away.
Cam belt history
Although some vehicles have a chain rather than a cam belt, those that do should be changed as part of the service if it is necessary. You should check the manual or online to see how often the make and model of car you are looking at needs to have the cam belt changed. If it was due the last vehicle service but has not been then if you make the purchase ensure that it is renewed shortly after purchase to avoid the replacement costing more than the bargain vehicle itself. Never buy a vehicle with cam belt damage no matter how good the deal seems.
Always test drive the vehicle
No matter how great the vehicle looks and even if it starts and sounds great, you should always take it for a test drive before purchase. This will allow you to look for problems such as whether your child’s seat fits well, whether you are able to adjust the seat for your comfort and even whether the controls are within your reach. You will also be able to see how the car runs when in transit rather than being stationary.

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