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Buying a new car

15 Dec 2009 at 11:35

By Crackers Patel, RAC Patrol

We all know there’s lots to think about when you’re buying a second-hand car. And sometimes, we don’t realise just how much.
I’ve often attended customers who’ve just bought a second-hand car and they’ll ask my opinion.
I’ll ask them a few questions, like: “Did you get a spare key or locking wheel key?”  And then you realise that they don’t know what you’re talking about. I explain that it’s a key for removing the wheels from their car.
Often people don’t realise how much some keys cost either – and that many can only be coded by the dealer. So here are a few things you might want to think about before you buy a second-hand car.

Crackers’ tips
  • Make sure the car has a long MOT
  • Look for receipts not just stamps in the service book, when checking the service history. You could even ring the garage to see if they’ve worked on the
  • Take someone with you who knows about cars, not a friend or neighbour who knows a little but a professional who knows a lot!
  • Meet the seller at their home address, not some street corner
  • Stick to your budget, it’s easy to get carried away
  • Make sure you’ve got the radio security code or know how to find it
  • Check that the V5 document is in the name of the person selling the car and that it has the same address
  • Do a car history check to see there’s no outstanding finance on the car or the car isn’t a right off.
  • Look to see if the car is taxed, otherwise you can’t test drive the car on the road.
  • Most private sellers or dealers will expect you to haggle over the price, its all part of buying a car
  • The professional person you take will check the car over for you so you don’t have to
Finally, make sure you take a checklist of things to ask and check.