When buying a second hand car be sure to consider the following advice:
Consider your budget – how much do you want to spend? If you are considering obtaining finance, do some homework and check current interest rates and monthly repayments on the amount required. This way you will have an idea of the financial commitment both in terms of a deposit and the monthly payments you will be required to make. Beware of being drawn in to spending more than you can afford. Once you have signed an agreement it is difficult if you change your mind.
Where to buy – where you buy a second hand vehicle can determine the rights you may have.. Buying from a dealer provides you with additional protection should things go wrong. If you buy a vehicle privately, for example from an advert in the newspaper, magazine or from an auction your rights are limited.
When you find a car – test drive it and take a proper look at the vehicle. Be sure to conduct some preliminary checks – for example, you can check the MOT history, free of charge online. You may also carry out an HPI check – particularly if you are buying from a private individual or through an auction.
Paying for the car – if you buy on finance, you should receive a pre-contract information document, as well as a copy of the credit agreement. These documents should clearly identify the amount of credit, total interest and charges and the total amount payable as well as details of the amount and frequency of payments. All of this information should be clearly explained to you before you sign the agreement.
If things go wrong – if you encounter problems with the vehicle you should contact the seller. If you bought on finance you may also be able to complain to the credit provider. You should notify the seller of your complaint as soon as possible after you discover it. If you do not receive a satisfactory response you should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service. If the seller is a member of the Business Approval Register we will help you with your complaint.