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Buying a used car? Why you should bring your dog too

Second-hand or used cars can be a great way to get a new run around without paying premium prices. But they come with their own pitfalls.

More than seven million used cars are sold every year in the UK – which amounts to around 19,000 a day, according to TSB.

But some of these purchases come with regrets. The most common regret from motorists, according to TSB, is how they wished they had checked out their car’s service history or being more firm in getting the service log. The log book tells you the basics about the car’s history such as who it is currently registered to and how many owners it has had. 

Some tips from second-hand car owners included test driving it in the rain to be sure it doesn’t leak, and taking your dog to check they comfortably fit in the boot.

What other things should you do for if you want to buy a used car?

Used car buying tips

Make sure you take your time to do checks thoroughly before purchasing.  Retrospect is a great thing and you don’t want to be looking back wishing you’d been more discerning!

Check the car’s exterior and interior and test the engine, steering, clutch, brakes and suspension.

You want to be looking for things like worn tyres, excess wear on pedal rubbers, excessive exhaust smoke and crunchy gears.

You should also insist on starting the car from cold. If the bonnet’s warm, this means it’s already been started. Is the seller trying to hide an issue?

Logbook and history check

Both of these provide an essential part of the puzzle when it comes to buying your vehicle. If the seller refuses to show you either of these, walk away. There simply shouldn’t be a good reason for them not to be able to. If they can, ensure they’re genuine.

According to vehicle checkers HPI, one in three cars has a hidden history. Don’t let their hidden history affect your future!

Can you afford a car?

According to TSB’s research, the average price of a second-hand car is £3,206, however a third (33%) of Brits spend more than £5,000 whilst one-in-20 (5%) people find a bargain banger for under 500 quid.

To be sure of your costs, enter the car’s registration number in our car costs calculator and we’ll tell you how much it will cost to run over a year. The car will need to be less than five years old to use the tool.

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