Not everyone can afford a new car, in fact 75% of purchasers choose a second-hand car over a new one. However, the quest to find a good used car can be daunting, no matter what age or gender demographic you fit into. Your choice will be determined by your work, family or hobbies (think where you're going to put your bike(s), pram, dogs, or bags of compost!)
Do you want an automatic or manual? Chances are it will be automatic as they outsell manual by 10 to 1. Not everyone is lucky enough to buy last year's demo model but don't stress, a ten year old car can still be a great second-hand car. Most used cars have an average of three owners throughout their lifetime. The favourite colour is silver, followed by black, and then white. Whatever the colour, make sure there's no patch ups or previous damage to the body work. A sneaky way to check is to look under the carpets to see if it matches the outside paintwork.
Once you think you've found your dream second-hand car then make use of the following user-friendly checklist for buying a second-hand car:
Tyres with little tread pose a serious safety issue and cost a lot to replace. Less than 3mm is not good. Insist on replacement tyres if you don’t want to foot the bill.
The VIN number must match the one on the registration papers.
Both the master and spare key come with the car.
Airbags are working.
Seatbelts aren't frayed or damaged.
Brakes work efficiently and don't pull to the side. Also check the handbrake.
The steering also doesn't pull to the side or vibrate.
The service book is up to date and correlates with the odometer.
Check for signs of flood damage. It's pretty shocking how many flood damaged, second- hand cars get palmed off on unsuspecting buyers.
The locks, wipers, aircon, lights and any other control buttons work.
Warning lights that stay on will indicate a fault.
The second-hand car comes with removable floor mats.
There should be a spare tyre.
Check for a jack and wheel spanner.
Is there a decent sound system?
Check for USB, AUX cable or Smartphone connectivity.
If you follow our recommended user-friendly checklist for buying a second-hand car you should find a decent used car that is both safe to drive and roadworthy. For any support or assistance in buying a second-hand car, contact Auto Pedigree at any time.