9 Myths When Buying a Used Car

MotorTrader September 29, 2014Help & Guides

Dispelling the Myths

Not a lot of folks are fortunate to have the cash spare to buy a brand spanking new motor, and even if they could, most sensible folk baulk at the thought of throwing away over half its value in depreciation over the first 3 years of ownership.

car dealerThis means unsuspecting buyers are left wide open to face the cowboys and Arthur Daleys of this world in search of a used car and can often be ripped off and left with a dangerous death trap vehicle that should have been sent to the scrap yard.
But have no fear as this guide from MotorTrade.org.uk – the UK’s leading Motor Trade Insurance specialists, is here to help, based on our years of experience in the motor trade.

Myth Number 1:

Once I’ve bought and paid for the motor then it belongs to me, my details are on the V5 so its my car  isnt it?.

Not exactly. The person named on the V5 document is not always the the legal owner of the vehicle.  Just because you are named as the registered keeper it could be a nicked vehicle or have outstanding finance which means it still belongs to the finance company.  It was never Arthur Daleysw to sell in the first place. A simple HPI check would give you peace of mind.

Myth Number 2:

Pestering your partner for a new and impractical toy, if they reply ‘buy whatever you want – I’m not bothered’ then that’s what they must mean.

Please don’t take this as their permission. They will change their mind as soon as they see your new bike engined kit car with no roof, windscreen or reverse gear (trust me I’m speaking from experience here!)

Myth Number 3:

If a motor is for sale for a really cheap rock bottom price it must be down to the recession – times are hard and people need to get cash quick so I’ll snap up a bargain

The old saying ‘If something looks too good to be true then it usually is’ still rings true during tough financial times.  Keep your wits about you and make sure you don’t buy soley on price, it could cost you far more in the long run.

Myth Number 4:

Any car will do, they are all pretty safe, reliable and economical nowadays – I don’t need to do any research, will just buy one I like the look of.

Unfortunately this is not the case. Reliability still varies widely and while the old days of the Dagenham rust bucket are over you still need to be careful. If in doubt buy something Japanese or Korean for the best reliability on a budget but this list of reliability is worth a quick read.

Myth Number 5:

I’d rather buy a used car from a dealer than privately as I’ll get a good warranty which will cover me if there are any problems.

Not always the case, a lot of these dealers warranties aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.  Try claiming for a new engine if the cambelt goes or get a fault fixed on an expensive integrated bose audio system and you’ll see what I mean.

Its always worth taking out a good aftermarket warranty to cover yourself from a company such as Warranty Direct

Myth Number 6:

Fuel consumption and the cars MPG is the primary concern if I want to save money in the long run
Good MPG may help but its not the be all and end all of economy, check the cars insurance levels and road tax bands before parting with your hard earned. If your insurance premiums are over a grand a year will you really to notice an extra fiver a month in petrol? The depreciation and running costs will hit you harder so make sure you bear these in mind – take a look at Parkers.co.uk for more detailed info on the car your thinking of buying.

Myth Number 7:

The private seller will meet me at his place of work or a nearby service station to view the car, these are closer for me so he’s just helping me out isn’t he?

You cannot be too careful when buying a used car, you have to assume the seller is trying to rip you off – even if they ‘seem’ trustworthy. Its your money which you stand to lose. Don’t ever be tempted to meet anyone anywhere other than at the address where the car is registered – and always ensure they actually have access to this property you just can’t take things at face value nowadays and there are far too many conmen around.

Myth Number 8:

I’ve got a great trade-in price on my old vehicle so that’s definitely the dealer I’m going with for my next car.

Bad move.  Often dealers inflate the trade in price to allow themselves to charge more on the next vehicle you’re buying.

Forget all about the trade-in price. What you need to concentrate on is the ‘price to change’. Confused? Use the price of the vehicle you’re looking to purchase and subtract the trade in price – this is the cost to you to change the vehicle and the figure you need to get to its lowest possible.

Myth Number 9:

The seller claims the car has been serviced but has lost the proof.  This isn’t really an issue, I can see a stamp in the book.

Anyone can put a stamp in a book, check by ringing the garage that did the service to confirm it was done but also do your own checks (cleanliness of engine oil etc).  The garage that stamped it could be a mate of the seller so if in doubt get an AA used car check for peace of mind.

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