Things to Consider When Shopping for a Used Car

Buying a car is tough, especially if it’s your first vehicle and you’ve only ever driven the car that you learned to drive in. It’s not like just popping out to buy some new shoes. It’s an expensive purchase, and it’s only right that you should put a lot of thought into it. But, it can be easy to get excited and carried away when you are surrounded by shiny new cars. So, here are some of the things to keep in mind while you shop.


Your first consideration should always be your budget. It’s all too easy to overspend when a dealer is blinding you with details and specifications. But, once you add on insurance and tax, overspending even slightly could completely blow your budget. So, think carefully about what you can afford, making sure that you can still afford fuel, insurance, tax, and service charges. Looking at cars online at is a brilliant way to make sure you see cars that fit your budget, without getting excited by flashy models.


Mileage and age are two of the first things that you need to note when looking at a used car. The newer the vehicle, the more up to date the safety features will be, and the cheaper it will be to repair if replacement parts are needed. But, you should also factor in mileage. A car that’s only five years old but has done 75000 miles has seen a lot of use and might be the victim of heavy wear and tear. An older car, with fewer miles, might be better value for money, especially if it’s only had one careful owner and has a full-service history.


If you don’t know anything about cars, you might want to take someone with you to view it, to inspect the engine. But, even with no experience of buying cars, you can still spot apparent signs of neglect or poor condition. Look around, is there any damage to the paintwork or body? Are there deep scratches or miss-matched paint? Open the hood, is there any rust or moss that might suggest it hasn’t been well looked after?

Don’t forget to look at the inside while you are at it. Look at the condition of the upholstery, the dash, and the flooring.


Safety should always be your first concern. A newer car will have passed the latest safety tests, but older cars might not. Ask about safety features and added safety extras. Then, look at the service history for repeat problems. If one part has needed repairing on more than one occasion, it might pose a problem in the future.

Always Take a Test Drive

Looking at the car isn’t enough to know if it’s right for you. Don’t just look at it; take it for a drive. Spend some time getting comfortable and getting a feel for the cabin. Then, pay attention to how it drives. Is it smooth? Does it sound, right? Is it easy to drive? Trust your instincts and don’t buy if it doesn’t feel right. Check out for some tips on test driving.

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