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Don’t be taken for a ride

Make sure you’re at the top of your game by being prepared before buying a car. Follow these few simple tips:

  • Use valuation services and price guides so that you know what you expect to pay – it’s easy for used car dealers to take advantage of young drivers’ inexperience of purchasing cars.
  • Consider purchasing your car from a new car dealership or a private sale as well as used car dealers but be careful, the Sale of Goods Act only applies when you buy a car from a new or second hand dealer, not when you buy from a private seller.
  • Test drive a range of vehicles to get a true feel for the type of cars you like.
  • Look at the mileage on the cars you’re considering. A car’s average mileage should be around 10,000 miles a year. If it’s not very old but has a lot of miles on the clock then it might not be as good a deal as it first seems.
  • Check that the number on the car’s VIN plate and engine plate matches that on the registration document.
  • If the car is over three years old, check that it has a current MOT certificate.
  • If you are considering buying a second-hand car, ask for the full service history and receipts of any work undertaken.
  • Check the vehicle’s tyres, brakes, steering, suspension, engine and body work.