18 Tips for privately buying a second hand car.
Do some initial homework. Find out about the type of car you areconsidering. Check out any known mechanical problems with that model.Check out the current second hand values for the car. A good place to
start is www.whatcar .com. Also get your local paper and some of thespecialist second hand car magazines and look up the prices of similar
How much will it cost you to insure the car? That's so easy to do onthe Internet - get a quote or two. It'll just take a few minutes.Also check out the car's other running costs. Again www.whatcar .com
will help. Make sure you can afford to run the car!
When you go to see a car insist on seeing the registrationdocumentation, including its MOT certificate if the car is more than 3
years old. This will also show the cars' chassis number. Check that thedocuments all tallies with the car. Be sure that the person selling the
car does actually own it and always see it at the seller's own home orbusiness premises.Make sure that the address on the Registration Document is the address
where you are viewing the car - if not ask why. Be suspicious.
Examine the Road Tax disc. Is it still valid and do the registrationnumber on the disc matches the Registration document?Ask to look at the cars' Service Record. This will also show the cars'
chassis number and details of the first owner. If the Service record isnot available, has the owner kept any of the service or repair bills?Now look under the bonnet and find the VIN Number (it could also be on
the chassis). Check out that the VIN number tallies with the number onthe Registration Document and that the number stamped on the car has not
been interfered with. This will help to ensure that the car hasn't hadits identity changed.Take a friend with you who knows' about cars - not only to look at the
car but also to be a witness for what is said and agreed.
Never pay for a car on your first visit and don't be pushed intopaying a deposit. You need to carry out some checks before you part with
any money (see 17 below).
Ask the owner if the car has outstanding finance. Take notes of whathe/she says. When you get home check out the information with RAC
Vehicle Status Check. Go to the RAC' web site. Click on Car Buying andthen Vehicle Status Checks. The Status Check will cost you £24.99 but it
will tell you if the vehicle has outstanding finance.
Carefully examine the car in good daylight. Look for signs of repairsand accident damage. If you have followed our advice and obtained a
Vehicle Status Checks, the Check will also tell you if the car hadpreviously been "written off".Make sure that the car hasn't been clocked. Be aware that the average
mileage is around 12,000 per year. Be wary if the wear on the car looksgreater than the mileage would suggest. The wear on the drivers pedals
may help. Then ask when the car last had new tyres. Then look at wear onthe tyres. Does the wear look about right?Always test-drive the car for at least 10/15 miles. By the way, don't
forget to ensure you are insured to drive it! Do not automaticallyassume that your own insurance will cover you for driving someone else's
car. Check your insurance documents before you leave home. If the sellersays his insurance covers you, ask to see his policy - better safe than
Still interested in the car? Then get it independently inspected.
Never hand over any money until you have seen the results of the RACVehicle Status Check. And even then don't pay any money until the car is
handed over to you with its Documents. Always get a written receipt foryour payment which includes the sellers name and address.Finally, make sure you have insurance in place from the minute you
drive the car away. Did you know that the Police can now impound, andultimately scrap, your car if you're driving it without insurance or
road tax? If the car has not got Road Tax, drop in at a Post Office onthe way home and buy one. You'll need to show an insurance cover note
for the vehicle and its up to date MOT Certificate to do this.
Michael writes for Brokers Online who offer life insurance coverand most UK financial services including car insurance.Visit our finance blog for useful tips on uk finance
Written By: Michael ChallinerCopyright: 2005
Contact Email: Michael@andromedawebs.co.ukContact Phone: 01477 535919
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