Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car with Checklist
Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car
Buying a used car might seem like a bit of a minefield, but it doesn’t have to be. With so many questions to remember to ask, ranging from how many previous owners a car has, to its car insurance premiums, and even background checks on the car's history, it can be very easy to miss things when it comes to buying a used car and when carrying out a used car vehicle history check.
At DCC we provide ourselves on our excellent selection of used cars, and on making our customers feel comfortable and confident in the cars they buy from us. In this post we share some key questions you should ask any used car dealership you intend to buy from.
What Questions Should I Ask When Buying a Used Car?
Make sure you get the right car with the right deal by asking these questions to a car dealer about any used car that takes your interest. These questions have been designed to weed out any used car deals which might have problems later on down the road.
Request a Test Drive
Always, always make sure you get a test drive in any used car you are interested. The car should ideally be cold when you have your test drive as some issues on appear when starting from cold. If your test drive is accompanied, the seller should mostly remain quiet so you can hear everything going on in the car from the engine to the gearbox to road noise. Don’t let them talk the entire way or you may miss something.
Questions About Used Car Warranty
Used car warranties vary greatly from dealership to dealership, and you want to make sure you’re covered in case anything goes wrong with the car while in your ownership.
Remember however that even if the warranty is short, you are still protected by the Consumer Rights Act, which means that the dealership you purchased the car from is obliged to put right any serious faults that develop within the first six months of ownership. However, it's worth noting that if you buy your car privately this rule won't apply.
Does the car have any issues?
Older cars will often come with a minor fault or two, and it’s good to be clear if this is the case for the car you are looking at as it will not be covered by a used car warranty.
What is covered in the standard warranty on used cars you sell?
The level of cover offered in a used car warranty can vary enormously. Some can be ambiguous and hard to understand, covering not very much at all, while others may be clear about what is, and more importantly what is not covered. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the warranty which comes with your next used car.
How long is the standard warranty on used cars you sell?
The amount of time you are covered for is as variable as the level of the cover itself. If a dealership or private seller has marked the sale of the car as "as is" that means that there is no warranty on the vehicle, so it's important to ascertain what warranty is left - and the standard amount of warranty time given by a dealer.
You may find on some cheaper cars that the warranty lasts just a couple of weeks, whereas more established dealers like DCC will offer a minimum six-month warranty on all used cars. We take it a step further and also offer 12 months free AA breakdown cover with every used car we sell.
Is there an option to extend the used car warranty?
If you want peace of mind for the lifetime of the car being in your ownership, talk to a used car dealership like DCC who offer a lifetime warranty. This is not available at all dealerships so do your research before you go.
Questions About Used Car Finance
Used car finance can be a complex area of business, and you want to make sure the finance deal on offer fits your circumstances. Make sure you fully understand all elements of your finance agreement before signing up.
What types of used car finance do you offer?
Most dealerships will offer a selection of used car finance offers including HP, PCP, lease purchase and contract hire. Having all these options available gives you more flexibility in finding a package to suit you. If a dealership offers fewer options, you may not find the right used car finance package for your situation.
How many finance providers do you work with?
Used car dealerships that only work with one or a small number of providers are less likely to offer competitive rates. Make sure the dealership you speak to have access to a wide range of lenders to ensure you get a great deal and low APR on your used car finance.
What is your APR for the deal we are making?
Make sure you understand the APR you will be on and that you can afford monthly payments for the duration of the agreement. If you are tempted in by a 0% interest car finance make sure you understand the implications and that it may not be the cheapest way to finance your car. You can read more about the true cost of 0% finance deals in our recent blog post.
Questions About Used Car Service Items
Asking questions about the car itself and its current condition can help you gauge how long you have before you may have to spend money on service items, and which parts and consumables might need replacing first.
What is the minimum tyre tread allowed on used cars you sell?
The legal limit for tyre treads in the UK is 1.6mm across the central 75% width of the tyre. Most used car dealerships will replace tyres that are at 3mm or under before they sell the car on, but this is not always the case. Accepting a car with tyres under 3mm means it will soon be time to replace these rather costly bits of equipment.
What is the maximum brake wear allowed on used cars you sell?
Most used car dealerships will replace brake pads at a certain level of wear. It is important to ascertain what the dealer promises with regard to brakes and when you may need to replace them. As one of the most important safety aspects of any car DCC replace brake pads at 75% wear or more, ensuring every car we sell has many miles to go before brake pads require replacement.
What is the minimum period to next service on used cars you sell?
Used cars should be thoroughly checked before they go on sale, but that doesn’t always mean they will have had a service. Different dealerships have different parameters in which they will service a used car before it goes out for sale. Make sure the next service on the used car you buy isn’t just around the corner. DCC offer a minimum six months or 6,000 miles to next service on every car we sell.
What is the minimum remaining MOT on used cars you sell?
Some used car dealerships are happy to sell used cars with a short MOT, but this can prove costly to the new owner if the car fails and work needs to be carried out not long after the car has been purchased. At DCC we make sure every used car we sell has a minimum six-month MOT for hassle-free motoring for longer.
What other checks do you carry out on used cars you sell?
Ensure the next used car you buy has undergone a thorough evaluation and all used car checks have been signed off with all repairs completed. At DCC we’ve signed the AA Dealer Promise, and our 128-point AA-approved used car check has been designed to give you peace of mind and confidence in your next used car.
Used Car Paperwork
Do you carry out a full HPI check on used cars you sell?
HPI checks ensure the car you buy has not been involved in an accident, written off, stolen, or has outstanding finance. It will also help uncover mileage discrepancies, confirm a number of previous owners, and a range of other important bits of information about the car. At DCC we offer a full HPI check on every car we sell and strongly advise you not to buy a car without one.
Do you carry out a mileage check on used cars you sell?
At DCC we carry out an AA mileage check on every used car we sell as well as a full HPI to give you complete confidence in your new used car. A car's mileage is an important aspect to double-check to ensure that the mileage has not been modified in any way.
Is the full-service history available for this car?
A full-service history is a great thing to have, and younger cars or those with a small number of miles should usually have this available. A partial vehicle history check is not always a problem, but do discuss the reasons with the dealer to ensure you are satisfied.
Is the logbook (V5) available to view for this car?
Some used car buyers like to see the logbook to check the number of previous owners, date of sale, mileage and VIN number match up. These days it’s not so necessary as HPI checks cover those elements, but the dealer should always shave the logbook and you should be able to see the logbook upon request.
Find the Best Used Cars for Sale in Hampshire
If you are looking for a used car to suit your budget and lifestyle speak to the team at DCC. You can reserve and buy your car online by checking our live and up-to-date used car stocklist or just pop into one of our showrooms in Fareham and Southampton to view cars from our extensive stocklist, and arrange competitive used car finance from a range of providers.