The Dos and Don’ts of Buying a Used Car From a Private Seller

When it comes to getting your next car, for a lot of instances and circumstances, it makes a lot of sense to get a used car. Even one that is only a year old can be worth getting over one that is brand new. The reason being is that cars depreciate so much in value, especially in their first year of life. So if you are looking for value for money or a car as investment, buying used is going to be the best thing to do. That first year of use of a brand new car can depreciate the value by quite a bit, even by half in many instances. So money-wise, buying used can be a good idea.

What is not a good idea is not knowing the things to look out for or the dos and don’ts of buying a used car. There are plenty of places like Motor Connect where you can go to look at used vehicles and choose what suits you. There are also lots of individuals that will be selling their cars second hand, and again, they can really be worth looking at. But if, you need to know the right things to be asking, especially when it comes to looking at the car of a private seller. So with all of that in mind, to make sure you are getting what you pay for and all things are upfront, here are some of the things to make sure that you do, as well as a few to avoid.

The Dos and Don'ts of Buying a Used Car From a Private Seller


Make Sure You Do:

  • Decide on a fair and accurate price for the car first, before visiting, by checking the mileage and condition, to give you a ballpark price.
  • Make sure that you ask the owner for things like service records, and the details of what work has been done. If it was in an accident and been repaired; that is the kind of thing that you need to know. This is something that will be upfront and clear at a dealership, but with a private seller they might be a little more shady about some of the things that have happened.
  • If you have a friend that is an expert with cars or even a mechanic, then take them along with you. They may be able to spot any wear and tear issues that you might miss, that could be problems later on.
  • Taking the car for a test drive is so important. There can be many small things that you may find issue with, that won’t be obvious without taking t for a drive. Look out for problems with steering, noises, and brakes, as well as things like the music and air conditioning. If there are issues you could offer a lower price, if you’re prepared to get those things fixed.

Make Sure You Don’t:

  • Don’t rely solely on the owner’s description of things, or their mechanic.
  • You may see what the mileage of the car is, but that can be adjusted for a better sale. So where possible, check with a mechanic to see if it could have been adjusted.
  • Meeting at night can be a little bit of a risk, as well as things that can’t be seen without natural light. Go with a friend too.

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