Those looking for a bargain on the second-hand market will need to be on the lookout for a whole host of potential pitfalls and hidden surprises. If you’re buying new, you might imagine yourself to be safe. But that’s not quite the case: you’ll want to make sure that you ask certain questions before you make the investment, as you might regret not doing so later. Let’s take a look at a few key things to be on the lookout for.
Let’s start with the most obvious thing to concern yourself with: the amount you’ll be paying. Different dealerships may offer identical cars for different amounts, for a whole range of reasons. If you’re looking at buying any given Citroen, Ford or Audi, it’s worth shopping around. To avoid overspending, establish a budget from the outset and stick to it.
Certain car owners will have specific requirements. A luxurious interior with leather, heated seats might be important to you, especially if you’re going to be getting up on a winter’s morning and want to be able to get going quickly. Your individual circumstances might throw up a whole range of requirements. Will the car fit in your garage? Can it tow your caravan safely? Is there room in the back for the dog? Make sure you’ve thought of everything before you start shopping.
The Reputation of the Dealership
Ideally, you’ll want to form a lasting relationship with your dealership. This way, you’ll have an easier time dealing with potential problems further down the line, and you’ll be able to easily sort out the annual service and MOT without having to spend time and energy tracking down alternatives.
Is Leasing an Option?
Leasing your car presents certain advantages over buying it outright. While you won’t have the flexibility that comes with ownership, you will be driving a more expensive car without spending more, and you’ll be covered by a factory warranty through its lifespan. Plus, at the end of the lease, you’ll be able to trade your car in for a newer model, without any fuss.
Don’t buy a car unless you’ve driven it. You can arrange a test-drive in advance with the help of the dealership’s online salespeople, who are often more honest than their instore equivalents, as they’re less incentivised by quotas and targets.