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With the price of new cars being prohibitively expensive for many of us, more and more people are turning to the second-hand market. Not only are used cars significantly cheaper than new models, but ones with little use and low mileage can also perform as well as brand new vehicles. However, buying used does also come with several additional pitfalls. And, with the cost of second-hand cars reaching record highs, it’s now more important than ever to be informed about your purchase. Here are a few handy tips to keep yourself protected.

2011 Ford Mustang convertible

2011 Ford Mustang

Invest in a Warranty

Buying a used car inevitably comes with its share of risks, as there’s no telling how your vehicle will hold up over time. It’s common sense therefore to pay for some additional cover in the form of a warranty, to ensure you’re not taken advantage of. Most accredited used car dealers and websites offer 12-month warranties as standard. However, they may also charge higher than other providers for convenience. There’s also always the chance issues start suspiciously appearing with more frequency once the warranty period expires. You may therefore be better off purchasing your cover separately from a provider with a good reputation, so you can get the best used car warranty for your needs.

Buy from a Reputable Seller

There is a wide range of options for buying used cars out there, from independent traders and garages to large dealerships and online marketplaces. Smaller dealerships and individuals may be appealing for reduced prices, but they come with their share of notable risks. Accredited dealerships, meanwhile, may offer more peace of mind for buyers. This is because they usually carry out rigorous tests prior to selling vehicles. It is also less likely that reputable dealerships will be selling stolen vehicles, or tampering with them.

Check Each Car Thoroughly

While reputable sellers will carry out their own tests, ultimately, they still want to sell their cars. It’s therefore important that you also check out any car yourself prior to purchasing it. The electrics, upholstery, glass panes, and bodywork are all worth inspecting fully, and in daylight. Minor issues may not put you off buying, especially if they are cheap to repair. However, they can still be worth pointing out to negotiate a better deal. Mileage is also another thing to pay particular attention to, since cars with high mileages are more prone to breaking down. If you notice that a used car shows a lot of wear and tear, but has a suspiciously low mileage, this may be a sign that the car has been clocked.

Set out a Budget

Used cars may be cheaper than new models, but for most of us, they are still a sizeable investment. It’s therefore crucial that you draw up a budget, to ensure you buy a car that is affordable for you to both purchase and maintain. Cost alone is not the only thing to consider, as you also have to account for fuel efficiency, tax, and the price of any potential repairs. Younger drivers in particular may face very expensive insurance costs, as well. You thus may want to find a quote for the car you intend to buy, prior to purchasing.

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