Buying a used car a beginner s guide - Ireland´s Comparison Website.

« Back to Articles

Buying a used car - a beginner's guide

Category: Cars Ireland |Date Published: 06/03/2013

Buying a used car can be intimidating. After a house, it will be the second-most expensive purchase a person will ever make. But if you educate yourself beforehand, ask the right questions and rely on experts when you need them, the process can be much less stressful - and perhaps even enjoyable.

First you have to figure out what you want (and what you can afford). Unlike buying new, the choices of paint, options and upgrades have already been made.
You are going to be buying a car that likely has little or no manufacturer's warranty left, so reliability and condition will be major factors in your decision.

There are many publications and websites that will give you a range of prices for used vehicles, known problems and practically every vehicle has at least one Internet forum devoted to it, with a wealth of information from hundreds of owners.

Many people overlook running costs and those can make a bargain car hopelessly expensive. Call your insurance agent and find out what the car you're thinking of will cost to insure. Have your financing in place before you go shopping and stick to it.
(And make sure the car you have chosen fits your parking space. A surprisingly large number of people have bought the car of their dreams only to find it doesn't fit in their garage or is too large to be parked on a narrow lane.)
You will have to choose whether to buy from a dealer or an individual. A dealer sale often gives you more rights than a private sale, and you may get a limited warranty or a roadside assistance package thrown in these are things you can bargain for. You may be able to strike a better deal with a private seller, but you have limited redress if the car turns out to be a lemon, and private sellers won't take your trade-in.

Take every car for a test drive and note any unusual noises, vibrations or smells. Don't assume that high-mileage cars are more tired than low-mileage vehicles. A low odometer reading may indicate the car was only ever driven in the city, which is considered severe driving because of the constant stops and starts. Look for patched holes and wear marks that shouldn't be there: holes in the roof that could have held a taxi light, for example.
And ask if the car comes with a complete service history, which indicates it has been properly maintained. Be suspicious if those records are unavailable.

Make the sale conditional on an inspection by a trusted mechanic. If you don't have one, ask cabbies where they take their cars. People who rely on their vehicles to make a living don't take their cars to a shady garage: if you are referred to a shop whose lot is filled with cabs, work trucks and delivery vehicles, congratulations, you have found an honest mechanic.

Have the car undergo a professional checkup and ask the mechanic to note any deficiencies in writing, with an estimate to repair them. If the vehicle needs a little work, you can negotiate down the price. If the mechanic spots large patches of rust on the frame, unreported collision damage or burning fluids, walk away and consider the money you paid for the checkup well-spent. If you live in a jurisdiction that requires an emissions test or a road worthiness certificate, make the sale conditional on it passing.
Buying a used car can be easy if you come prepared, do your homework and be prepared to spend your time looking for the right car rather than the right-now car. If you follow these common-sense rules, a second-hand car can be a first-rate purchase.

This post is provided by FBD Car Insurance Ireland. For further information on the benefits of our policies click here.

Comments closed due to spamming