Buying a secondhand car or motorcycle is a great way to keep down costs and seal a deal that makes your money work hard. But, just like buying anything, you need to know what to consider and look out for if you’re going to get a vehicle that meets both your needs and budget. We offer some handy tips and hints to get you on the right road to successful secondhand car and motorcycle buying.
The Internet is a great resource for bringing transparency to the resale value of cars and motorcycles and depreciation of different makes and models. If you have a make and model in mind, get surfing to compare sale costs. The more information you have at your disposal, the better you will be able to negotiate the best price. Take some time to look at the prices ofcars and motorcycles advertised on Preloved and you can then get an idea of what you might be expected to pay.
Make sure any paperwork or documents associated with a car or motorcycle is in order. For example, pay close attention to the V5 document, making sure the seller is the registered keeper and it has no spelling mistakes or lacks a genuine watermark. Similarly, if the vehicle has had some work done, ask to see any paperwork from garages, etc. Take a look at documents about its service history to see if it has been correctly maintained. Check that theMOT certificate is up to date using the DVLA website.
Take a look at the mileage of the vehicle and ensure that it corresponds with any paperwork, such as MOT certificates and the vehicle’s service history. You can also check the mileage and MOT status of a vehicle on the DVLA website. Is the mileage high for the year of the vehicle – remember: car owners drive an average of 10,000 to 15,000 per year.
Take the Test
It’s essential to give any vehicle you’re considering buying a test drive before any decisions are made. Whilst driving, make sure the brakes and clutch are working well, test the steering and listen out for any suspicious noises from the engine. If you haven’t before, stop the vehicle and check all the lights, electrics, CD player or computers are operating well. Take a good look around at the bodywork, checking for signs of rust or repair, and also underneath. Open the bonnet and investigate if there are any oil leaks or water drips that can be cause for concern, and make sure any belts are in good condition and not cracked.