Buying a new car can be a stressful affair and for first time buyers this stress tends to be intensified as you tend to find people trying to sell you everything along every step of the journey when all you want to do is buy your car. The first step is to know exactly what it is that you want and to do this you need to have an idea of exactly what you would be doing with the car such as the average distance you’ll be travelling on a weekly, monthly or even yearly basis, where you will be driving it to, how often you’ll be driving it, who else is likely to be driving the car and many more things. Once you have determined what your requirements are, you then need to find out which cars meet your requirements.
When you’ve decided on a car, there are a number of different questions that you need to ask the seller about the car and it’s service history. It is important to ask these questions because buying a car is a major investment and once it’s bought it will likely start to depreciate in value depending on the age of the car so before you part ways with your hard earned cash, you should make sure that all of your concerns are addressed.
The first and most obvious question to ask is if the car can legally be sold, its seems like a silly question but if the car is still on finance it cannot legally be sold and you run the risk of losing your deposit. Law requires the seller to disclose any outstanding warrants pertaining with the car and if you are buying from a dealer they are also required to adhere to the Customer Rights Act which dictates that any product that is sold must be of satisfactory quality and be as described in adverts. If you are buying independently then you should also ask to see all the legal documents that shows the seller as the legal owner of the car and can therefore sell it. You don’t want to put yourself at risk of getting in trouble or losing money.
The next question would be to see the log book and V5C form, the seller should be able to immediately produce these as they are needed in order to sell the vehicle. If the seller cannot product any of these then they should contact the DVLA before selling the car, if the seller cannot produce any of the documents that show proof of ownership you shouldn’t buy the car as it might have been stolen.
Next you need to find out if the car is roadworthy, the best way to do this is to ask if you can drive it home when you buy it. For this to be possible the seller should have a valid MoT certificate. However, it is worth remembering that you cannot legally drive the car home until you have sorted out the road tax and insurance allowing you to drive on the road. You should also ask about the history of the car’s tyres. When were they last changed? Are they new or old tyres? Were part-worn tyres fitted to the car? It’s worth checking that they’re correctly inflated as having the correct tyre pressure can go a long way toward ensuring you get good fuel efficiency from your car. It’s probably worth calling out a mobile tyre fitting crew to come out and check out the tyres before you drive off, just to be on the safe side.
You should also ask about the car’s finance, as mentioned earlier it is illegal to sell a car that is still on finance so if might be worth investing in a vehicle history check. These checks will tell the buyer whether the car has ever been written off by insurance or if it has been recorded as stolen and if it has any unpaid bills. If the car is still on finance it means that the seller is not the sole owner of the car as it is not fully paid off yet and, as previously mentioned, they aren’t legally able to sell the vehicle.
Finally, you should find out if the car has ever been in any major crashes, sometimes this information might not matter as the car has already be fixed to a good standard but other times when the repair is not good enough the buyer would be stuck with the costs of repair. Which isn’t what you need to be lumbered with when you’ve just shelled out for the car itself.