Tips for buying a used car
In the UK, eight million used cars are sold each year, which is many more than are sold brand new. The biggest reason for this is that it is much cheaper to buy used than new, as the worst of the depreciation will have already occurred. This means you can get a better car for your money, just by choosing a car that is a year old rather than one that is new.
However, when you do buy a used car, you have to be careful that you are making a good choice as your rights will be less protected than with a new car if it goes wrong. After you have found a car that meets your expectations in terms of performance, practicality and cheap car insurance, it is time to make sure that it really is your dream car before you part with any cash.
The first thing you should do when viewing a used car, whether a private sale or through a dealership, is ask to see the logbook. Using this, you can check the car's ownership history and the accuracy of the age and mileage that the seller is conveying to you. This simple step could save you an awful lot of inconvenience and perhaps save you money too.
After you have checked the logbook, there are three main things to do:
- Check the outside of the car
- Check the inside of the car
- Take it on a test drive
Checking the outside of the car
Before you do anything else, you should stand back and take a good look at the car. If you see any suspicious bumps, dents or incongruous body panels that are unaccounted for by the owner, you should think twice about your purchase. Any cars with these features or one which shows signs of welding, untidy seams or other types of repairs underneath the bonnet or boot may well have been involved in an accident.
It is also well worth looking out for the any signs of rust or paint bubbles, as repairs to paint and bodywork can cost you dear. They also imply that the car may not have been looked after very well in its lifetime, which can lead to a whole host of other problems that could spell bad news for your cheap car insurance premium.
Now it is time to pop the bonnet and take a look at the engine. Check for oil leaks and damaged hoses or drive belts, as you probably don't want to be taking on a car that has existing mechanical problems. Also, if the engine has been reconditioned or modified in any way, it is worth asking for receipts and guarantees for the work.
The last thing to look at when checking the outside of the car is the tyres. It is important that all the tyres are roadworthy before you take it for a test drive, otherwise you could put yourself (and your motor insurance) at risk. If the tyres are in a poor state of repair or need to be replaced soon, you may also be able to use this as a bargaining point on the price of the car.
Checking inside the car
You are likely to be spending a lot of time in the cabin of the car if you buy it so it's well worth ensuring that the seats are comfortable, the controls are user-friendly and you can adjust the steering wheel to a suitable driving position.
While you are sitting in the car, take a good look at the seatbelts to ensure they show no signs of damage. Also have a general review of the state of the car, as if the seats and pedals seem to be overly worn this could be a sign that it has been 'clocked' (i.e. the odometer has been altered to show a lower mileage than it should do).
No driver wants to end up with a car where they get wet if it starts raining, so have a close look at the door, window and sunroof seals for any signs of leaking. This is an important point because leaky seals aren't just inconvenient, they can also cause serious problems if water gets into the car's electrics
On the subject of electrics, you should ensure that everything in the car works. Test the headlights, dashboard warning lights, hazard lights, horn, windscreen wipers, stereo and any other electrical equipment for full functionality.
Taking the car on a test drive
Once you are satisfied with the state of the car, it is time to take it out on the open road for a test drive. This is the only way to ensure that you like the feel of the car and to have assurance it is in good condition, although this is still no guarantee. However, before you set off, check with your cheap car insurance company that you are covered to drive other cars.
If your motor insurance policy allows for this, it is time to set off. When going out on a test drive, try to incorporate as many different types of driving as you can. Try slow urban driving, hill starts and high speed roads, and make sure that you drive for long enough to test your brakes, steering and clutch thoroughly.
While you are out on your drive, listen out for any strange noises from the engine or suspension and pay attention for rattles that you just know would drive you potty.
Finally, when you are back from your test drive, leave the engine idling while you check for any oil or water leaks under the bonnet.
Super cheap car insurance deals for your used car
If you have just bought a used car, you will most likely be looking for a cheap car insurance deal to get you covered to drive it. Well, you have come to the right place. At duck2water Car Insurance Services, we specialise in bringing you amazingly low cost car insurance quickly and easily.
We have designed our online quotation system so that it is intuitive and really straightforward to use. Just answer a few necessary questions about yourself and your car, and you will be presented with a really cheap car insurance quote within a few minutes.
The reason we are able to offer such low prices for motor insurance is that we are an online company. We don't have the same high overheads as high street stores or telephone insurers, and we don't advertise on TV or radio. These cost-saving policies mean that we can give our customers the cheap car insurance they really want.
We also use telematics technology as standard to enable us to offer lower premiums to careful, low-mileage drivers.
Why wait? Get a cheap car insurance quote now and save £££s on your premium.