How to Buy a CarRead More
How to Buy A Car
These are the best UK car buying tips available on the internet.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) 2.69 million cars were registered in the UK last year and we have put together some car buying tips to help you along the way and take the stress out of the car buying process.
Buying a car can be a stressful process and many people don’t know where to start or what to look for when car shopping.
Work out the type of vehicle you need, this stage is the most crucial as you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a car that won’t be suitable for your daily needs.
Your circumstances will help you decide which type of car to go for. If this is going to be the only car in the family, you'll likely need more space, but if you are going to be the only person using the car and don't need the space you can get more for your money on smaller cars.
Make sure you choose a car that will fulfil your daily needs as selling your car too soon is a sure way to lose money.
It's very important to set a budget so that you don't make decisions based on emotion, as the beautiful top of the range car the salesman is trying to push may be out of your price range and you don’t want to overstretch your finances.
On top of the cost of your car finance here are a few things you should consider when setting your budget.
It's important you don't forget to factor in all associated costs and choose a car that you can afford.
Once you have chosen a car model and manufacturer you need to do some research… Lots of it!
Check out all car sales websites and research the prices across the market, this should give you a good idea of how much you should be paying for your car and avoid being overcharged.
Expanding your search to the surrounding cities may help you find a better deal, but If a deal sounds too good to be true…
IT PROBABLY IS!
Now that you have found the perfect car for you, there are a few things you need to do before you head over to the car dealer.
Checking the MOT history will give you visibility of any work done to the car in the last few MOTs and you will also be able to see any advisories from the last MOT.
One very important thing to look for when checking the MOT History is the mileage at every MOT.
This should help you establish if the car might have been clocked in the past.
Clocking is the illegal practice of winding back the odometer on a high–mileage car to increase its apparent value and asking price.
Things to look out for:
This is not a guarantee the car hasn’t been clocked but it gives you extra piece of mind that you are doing your research. If you see anything suspicious… MOVE ON!
This service is a paid service, before spending your money I would recommend you go see the car and make sure you are happy with everything else beforehand.
Car Text Check will give you information on the following:
If all you want is a car valuation you can do that FREE on Auto Trader by doing the following:
Auto Trader will give you a suggested price.
Checking the car
This can be a very expensive service, check the manufacturer's website or car specific forums what is the recommended mileage to change the cambelt or timing chain depending on your vehicle. While you are there make sure you check for common faults or recalls for that car.
Checking this information will give you an indication if the work should have already been done (always ask the dealer) or how soon it will need to be done and you can use this information to negotiate on price.
Most cars require work during the year and the owners of a used car should have a record of garage bills for work or parts as well as previous MOT certificates, and paperwork from regular services.
Ask them a few questions to ensure you understand more about the car. Here are a few questions to ask:
As you do your research, write down a question as quickly as you have it. If you think of something good to ask and then forget it, it could cost you.
Many car dealerships want you to finance a car through their financing department. Obviously, they can make some extra money from you if you do this.
When buying a car there are a lot of things to check and you don't need the additional stress of spending valuable time in the office sorting out the finance when you should be inspecting the car.
Not to mention that the dealer may not offer you the best finance deal and it's highly unlikely that you will find the best available car as well as the best finance deal from the same dealer.
A good way to ensure you get the best deal is to arrange your car finance online with a broker who will have access to a lot more lenders than your car dealer and find you the best deal based on your circumstances.
You don't have to worry about waiting for being approved for a loan when you’re at the dealer or telling the seller to hold the car for you until you get the finance sorted as most of the process can be done beforehand.Apply for finance today
If you don't know much about cars this will give you peace of mind that you have after sales care should something go wrong with your car.
The price may be a little higher, but If something does go wrong, the chances of them being easier to work with are much greater if you trust them from the beginning.
Many dealers will offer a warranty when you buy a car from them, just make sure you know exactly what's included in the warranty.
There are various ways you can buy a car privately - online, at an auction, through an advert in a newspaper or even Facebook.
I would only advise buying privately if you are experienced about cars and know what to check for to ensure the car is in good condition before you drive away. If you know what you're doing it can save you money, but if you get it wrong it can cost you a lot more and you won't be protected by the Sale of Goods Act.
When buying privately the car still must be "as described" so ask questions about its condition and get the answers in writing.
If the seller offers a viewing anywhere other than their home, there is a very good chance they are doing it for a reason.
If they have nothing to hide, they shouldn’t have a problem with you coming to their house.
Take your mechanic or someone who knows about cars, if that’s not possible take someone you can trust who won’t be emotionally attached to the purchase.
It's the second pair of eyes and ears to get information so you don't misinterpret what the seller is saying.
Since they are not emotionally involved, they can help you keep a cool head, so you don't make a silly mistake, like paying too much.
Never view a car in the rain, in poor light or at night!
The more information you have, the more the purchase will work in your favour.
When inspecting the car, check the bodywork for any dents and scratches as well as rust, especially under wheel arches and for uneven gaps between body panels as this indicates poorly repaired crash damage.
Check the oil level is correct and, if buying a petrol car, that the oil is a light, yellowy-brown color – dirty oil could signal poor maintenance. Check for oil and water leaks as these can indicate serious engine problems.
Test all the non-engine electrics and make sure everything works, including lights, heating, heated screens, and radio. The last thing you want is to be spending extra money repairing faults with the car.
Take it for a test drive. Check that the car accelerates and brakes as you would expect and that the clutch and gearbox function correctly. If the dealer allows it would be good to take the car on the motorway as part of your test drive.
Listen out for any rattling noises as this could be a sign of mechanical problems. If safe to do so, take your hands off the wheel to make sure that the car doesn’t steer to one side as this could indicate tracking or suspension problems.
If you’re not particularly knowledgeable about cars, get your mechanic or friend to test drive it for you. If that is not an option, you can pay a garage to give the car a professional check-over.
No seller expects to get the advertised price so even if you are happy to pay the asking price make them a lower offer as a starting point. That way there's room for negotiation from both sides and you should both be able to agree on a price. Don't forget to check the car valuation to help you negotiate a price.
You’ve done your research, you know what you want, and you have your car finance in place. When it's time to negotiate the deal, you're in control.
Before you complete the purchase ensure you do the following:
Find Me Car Finance is a trading site of Sandhurst Associates Limited (Sandhurst).
Sandhurst is registered as a limited company in England and Wales
with company number 06958589.
9 Winkley Square, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 3HP.
Sandhurst is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register under reference number 723591.
It is also registered under the Data Protection Act 2018 under registration number Z2032925 and a member of the CFA.
Support via email is available by clicking here.
Your vehicle may be repossessed if you do not keep up the repayments.
We work exclusively with a selected group of lenders and brokers to offer you a range of credit and loan products. We may receive commission from lenders or brokers for introducing you to them or when you complete your application with them.
You can request details of these commissions or fees, by emailing us. We will then provide you with the precise amount of the commission. Please note the broker we direct you to may not offer the cheapest loan that is available to meet your needs due to the panel of lenders they work with and/or have integrated with.
The guidance contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and is therefore targeted at consumers based in the UK only.