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Thread: Your Tips for Buying a Car!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    259

    Default Your Tips for Buying a Car!

    It‘s competition time again on the RAC Forum!

    This month we’d like to hear your tips for buying a car.

    What are your do’s and don’ts? Is there anything you’d wish you’d known beforehand?

    Everyone who posts a tip for buying a car will be entered into a prize draw to win one of five RAC car maintenance books. The competition will close at midnight on June 30th 2012. You can see the prize by clicking here.

    You can read the full T & C’s by clicking here.

    Congratulations to our winners!: pttron, Rolebama, jscadden, smudger and Santa
    Last edited by Owen; 04-07-12 at 17:43.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2,428

    Default

    Research the make/model for known problems like cam belts, and then read the service history to see if they have been sorted. Check the MOT certs for the mileage history and see that the car was serviced at the right intervals.

    Avoid over presented cars - I mean the ones that have the wheels blacked, the plastic trim shined, the engine gleaming and the paintwork dazzling. Clean and tidy yes - blinged up no.

    Make sure that the seller actually owns the car. HPI is worth the money on any private sale. At the very least make sure that the V5 shows the right name and address (although that's not proof of ownership) and check that the VIN on the car is the same as the one on the docs. Don't buy the car if you don't get the V5 and the history with it.

    For a private sale, cash is king. Don't hand over the cash if you haven't got the car (or vice versa if you are selling)

    Take a skeptical friend with you. One who will point out the dents and dings you miss and give you moral support.

    Never pay the asking price. There is always room for manouvre. Remember that the seller is always more keen to sell than you are to buy.
    Last edited by Santa; 01-06-12 at 15:49.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    6,379

    Default

    Lead with your head not your heart. Think about what you are going to use it for, cost, finance cost, insurance, maintenance cost, and running cost. Any doubts at all about the car/dealer/vendor, leave it and look elsewhere.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    180

    Default

    also look for worn steering wheel if worn could mean high mileage car, also look at brake/clutch pedal rubbers if worn also could mean high mileage, look at the brake/clutch fluid to see if it has been changed lately, if possible look through the holes in the wheel to see what wear is on the brake disc's/linings, if you are thinking of buying a vauxhall car buy or get a friend who has an "opcom" diagnostic tool as this can look into the cars "brain" and see the true mileage the car has done, check shock absorbers for to much bounce and leaks also the steering rack for leaks, drive shafts for split gaitors, rock the wheels top to bottom for worn steering swivels, get down and look at the exhaust pipe for to much rust/leaks, how much rubber is left on tires are they legal/ the same brand/ radials or cross ply must not be mixed on the same axle, does the vin number inside the windscreen match the vin number in the log book, rock the seat frames to check for wear/broken frame,
    check to see if engine/gearbox is clean and no oil leaks, how much play in gear lever, to much could mean an expensive repair,
    as well as the things pointed out by santa in the above thread,
    DO NOT BUY FROM SOME-ONE WHO WANTS TO MEET YOU IN A LAY-BY OR PUB CAR PARK ,
    be safe be sure, CHECK CHECK AND CHECK AGAIN do not buy something you may be sorry for after.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    8,318

    Default

    If you go to someones house to buy a car, make sure they actually live there, for example, ask for a glass of water, or to use the loo. Its been known for con artists to use the drive of a house where the owners are away on holiday, or at work.

    Ask a lot of questions, just to make sure that the seller really knows the car, if they don't then its probably stolen?

    Always go to look at the car in daylight, and if its raining or the car is wet, dry it off,(take a cloth with you) that way you will see any damage to the paintwork?

    While your looking in the boot, check the tread on the spare wheel, (if it has one) and have a look for any water damage at the same time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    180

    Default

    also look for ripples or bends in the boot floor, lift the carpet to have a look, as carpet could be hiding accident damage,
    also ask the seller if it is his/her car to sell,
    dip the engine oil this is a good indication as to if the engine oil has been changed and check the oil looks like engine oil and not gear oil that could hide an oil burning engine.
    check tires to see if they are tracked up properly, no scubbing,
    check centres of wheels using a tape measure to see if it has had a knock and is out of line.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Very good advice all - some things you can't allow for like injector failures (VW have 're-called' the dodgy ones) - it's the inconvenience/danger/stress/cost (in some cases) & without a certain individual (on the UK Passats website) having the foresight to get VOSA involved, VW would still be charging it's customers for the privilege....!! Sorry, I'm ranting but my car having covered only 47k miles (6 years old) has had so many parts fail it's downright unreasonable w & tear........... This is where websites, such as this one, are so useful in giving buyers the 'heads-up' when it comes to parting with your hard-earned cash. Keep it up & well said all, cheers, Paul

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Middlesex
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    Take someone with you who is knowledgeable of cars. Preferably of the make you are considering buying, and have the car thoroughly inspected. Do not be afraid to ask awkward questions, especially, relevant to collisions and write-off categories. Last but not least, if in any doubt, walk away.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    180

    Default

    Why not join the RAC and book a mechanic to give the car you are thinking of buying the once over as they should spot everything that is wrong and things you have missed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Middlesex
    Posts
    8,509

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    Because joining the RAC and booking an Inspection costs money?

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