While there is an element of risk in everything we do, buying a second hand car must rank to be up there with extreme sports. If you get it wrong on a skateboard, you are in for some physical pain, while buying a dud second hand car will only hurt your wallet and your pride. There are, however, things one can do to virtually eliminate the risk of becoming a victim of the questionable used car salesman, and if you are about to search for your dream car, here is a very useful guide to safe buying.
- Avoid Private Sales – You might have a friend who wants rid of his car, and as nice as it might be, should anything go wrong after the deal is sealed, will be down to the new owner. While there are many online used car sites, buying from an individual is very risky, as there are people out there who make a very tidy living by dressing up average cars and turning them into prime condition. Engine noises can be made to temporarily disappear, and a little filler here and there will mask the recent accident damage, and if the seller knows his stuff, he can pass a substandard car off as one that has been looked after. If, for example, a motorist was looking for a used BMW in Wakefield, there is a BMW approved dealer nearby who will offer you a ton of warranties and only stocks pristine examples.
- Manufacturer Approved – Let’s look at a popular European car manufacturer like BMW, they would have certain affiliations with both new and used car retailers, and any dealership that is BMW approved, has been through a rigorous testing procedure to ensure that all the used BMWs they sell, are in fact, in first class condition. This prestigious association might be hard to earn, but it can be taken away in an instant, and all it takes is one bad customer experience, and the maker would likely revoke the dealership.
- Extended Warranty – A nearly new vehicle will cost around 35% less that its new cousin, which is why it makes sense to look for a used car that is A) not very old, and B) has a full service history, and if you buy from the right dealer, you will have a standard 12-month warranty, plus the option of extending that.
- Qualified Technicians – A BMW approved dealership would only hire BMW qualified technicians, and with a vast majority of the used cars having a history with the dealer, you know exactly what you are getting. Modern cars are extremely complex, so much so that they require a technician who is approved to work on the cars in question, which is why the dealer would typically focus on one make.
Many British motorists have realised that, for the price of a new mid-range car, they can have a luxury vehicle, if they buy something that is no more than 18 months old and has been well maintained, and with a manufacturer approved dealer, you all but eliminate the risk of buying a dud.