Buying A Used Car Privately? Buyer Beware (Caveat Emptor)

Buying a Used Car

January sales are a good time for buying a used car from car dealers as they want a share of the January Sales and often they have great offers on used cars. Also consider buying a used car in the same month that the new car registration are released. There are car retailers like Arnold Clark that offer bigger than normal discounts on pre-registered cars and used cars and then there are car supermarkets companies like Carcraft and Motorpoint that stack-em high and try and sell em low.

We all love our cars, but they can be very expensive to run and maintain. Most of us would need car finance when buying a used car and we should also budget for other running costs associated with having a car, like maintenance costs, car road tax and car insurance to keep it on the road. Cars always cost more than you expect.

What To Look For When Buying A Used CarWhen buying a used car you should consider what you are buying a car for. For example will you be doing motorway driving or just running around town, will you be taking the children to school or using the car for going to and from work? Consider buying some car magazines or do some research on the internet and see what other car owners of various car makes have to say about their cars.

If your buying a used car privately from the newspaper or from AutoTrader then I strongly recommend that you should HPI check the vehicle.  An HPI Check will identify whether a vehicle has any outstanding finance, is stolen, written off or has been clocked and often includes a guarantee, valuation and mileage information costing from £25 for 3 vehicle checks. HPI checks are not necessarily required when buying from a large dealership or car showroom

The breakdown services like the AA and the RAC offer a full vehicle inspection to avoid the risk of buying a wrong car and to make sure that the vehicle is not going to need any imminent repairs. These inspections cost from £149 to £163 per vehicle for non recovery members and can be worth every penny if it saves you buying a pig-in-a-poke.

How can you keep these costs down? Read on for some essential tips on how to save money and focus on enjoying your car.

Buying A Used Car – You Need Road Tax

On the 1st October 2014 the new ‘Road Tax’ rules were introduced by the DVLA. The old system of  buying your vehicle road tax at a local Post Office and displaying your tax disc in your car windscreen has finished. The old system has been replaced with new rules that do not require drivers to pay and display a valid tax discs anymore. The new Road Tax system is electronic and paying for your road tax is completed online via the DVLA website.  Anyone who does not have access to a computer will still be able to purchase their ‘road tax’ at their local post office as before.

When buying a used car it in the UK, every car must display a tax-disc in order to drive on the roads legally. To get this, it must be insured and have a valid MOT. The amount of road tax you pay, however, differs based on the economy of the engine and how much Carbon Dioxide it produces. A 1.4 litre Audi A1 produces 124 grams per kilometer, and so the yearly tax is £100. A smaller car which produces less than 100g/km will cost much less or even be free, and a much larger car with a bigger engine will cost far more.

Buying A Used Car – You Need Car Insurance

If you are buying a used car then you will need car insurance. Car insurance is a huge business, and for many people it’s a huge expense – young people especially could be paying thousands of pounds just so they can get their car on the road.  The best way to keep these costs down is to spend time comparing the different deals available. There are plenty of comparison websites and tools to make it really easy for you, and you can save a huge amount of money! There are also insurance providers who target specific age groups to better help with saving your cash.

Definition of Caveat Emptor

The phrase caveat emptor arises from the fact that buyers often have less information about the good or service they are purchasing, while the seller has more information. Defects in the good or service may be hidden from the buyer, and only known to the seller. Thus, the buyer should beware.

by Wikipedia

Age isn’t the only factor insurance providers take into account, though. Annual mileage, gender, experience and where you live can make significant differences to an insurance quote.  A 35-year-old female driver, who’s been driving for 15 years, lives in a small village and only drives 5,000 miles a year would pay significantly less than a city-dwelling man of the same age who’s been driving for half the time but with a higher annual mileage.

Buying A Used Car – Know Your Fuel Economy

When buying a used car it is important to know the fuel economy of the car  you are buying . All cars are launched with an independently-verified fuel economy rating. This is generally published in Miles Per Gallon (MPG) and is generally a good indication of how economical the chosen car will be.  For example, a small car such as the Audi A1 hatchback mentioned above could offer an average economy of 53 MPG, but a larger Lexus LS sedan would average out at around 30 MPG. Clearly, the Lexus will be much more expensive to run over the lifetime of the car, if run under similar circumstances.

There are various elements of a car which can reduce the fuel economy, and it’s worth keeping these in mind and doing regular maintenance checks to ensure your car is ticking along nicely. These include ensuring your tires are at the correct pressure and checking your oil and engine coolant are at the desired levels. If you keep all these in check, you should be able to drive your car knowing it’s not going to break down.

Even simple things like removing all those books, magazines and boxes from the trunk can help.  The more weight, the less economical the car is. It’s also a good idea to ease off on the air-conditioning. All you’re doing is making the engine work that little bit harder, and it can significantly detract from your MPG figure.

When buying a used car you should always carry out your own ‘due diligence’ and know what it is going to cost you to run and maintain your car. For those drivers that want a reliable used car should consider buying a used car from a large dealership or showroom as they generally provide great service and value for money.

Finally consider the Latin words ‘Caveat emptor’ which is found in contract law and means  ‘buyer beware’ as this applies to buying a used car.  We welcome any comments you may have about any experiences you may have had buying a used car in the past

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One Response to Buying A Used Car Privately? Buyer Beware (Caveat Emptor)

  1. Steve November 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Excellent blog here! Also your website loads
    up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

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