When buying a used car, take it to your mechanic to check!

3rd August 2016
Buying a used car

In this modern world, a car is an essential item. People have to commute further distances to work and unless you live in a large city, you will more than likely need a car to do such things as your shopping or trips to see your family. Buying a used car can be a stressful venture and you should always be prepared and have someone check the car over who knows their mechanics.

Why buy a second hand car?

The second hand car market is ever expanding and there are more and more people buying used cars. Why is this so? One overriding factor is the large cost of new cars and the disproportionate amount of depreciation they get hit with pretty much as soon as you drive away with it. Cars depreciate and this is a fact, the curve of depreciation gets less as the car ages with the most severe drop in value arriving in the first few months and years.

What to check for when buying a second hand car?

One downside of buying a used car is the fact that it has had previous owners and unfortunately you have no guarantee that everything is in complete working order. You do not know how they have driven it, or if they have taken as much loving care as you will. To be sure and confident in your purchase you can make a list of things to check before you take the plunge:

– How many previous owners has the car had?
– Does the car have a full service history?
– Is the cars log book stamped with proof of servicing
– Does the car have a full MOT history and current MOT certificate?
– Does the car have a spare key?
– How does the car drive?
– Does the car have any scratches or dents that need attending too?
– What is the tyre pressure and oil level like?

Checking the above will give you a greater level of understanding about the car you are buying and help reassure you of its quality. If any of the above are not present or seem out of place then maybe this isn’t the vehicle for you.

Why you should get a mechanic to have a look?

Whilst all of the above are fairly cosmetic issues and can be checked by anyone without mechanical experience, there may be underlying issues with the car that you will not pick up on. This is where a qualified mechanic will reap benefits. What if the car has a steering issue you didn’t notice, or what if its engine bay isn’t in good condition, or what if the suspension looks worn?

Mechanics are trained in fixing cars. They understand how vehicles work and how a car should look mechanically. If you either bring a Mechanic with you when viewing the car, or take the car for a test drive and nip in to see a local garage, you can get them to give the car a thorough look over to ensure it doesn’t have any potential mechanical problems that could cause you grief in the future. Having a professional opinion is always preferable to possibly going solo and buying a money pit waiting to happen.