What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

View of a row of cars from the right front of the cars.

07 Apr 2015

Posted in:  Buying a Car and Loans

If thinking about buying a second hand car you should think about getting it inspected by a professional. In case you decide to go for it on your own, it’s always important you know what to watch out for. Discover what you need to take into consideration before purchasing a used vehicle with this handy guide below from AIB Car Finance.

Safety, value and cost

The car’s price is an important factor. No one wants to pay more for their car than it’s worth so it’s never a bad idea to do a price comparison on similar cars before you purchase. It’s also important that the vehicle you have your eyes on is safe. Make sure to check the safety rating of the vehicle before purchasing it.

Identification of the owner and vehicle

When you’re privately buying, ensure you check the registration details of the vehicle against the ID of the person selling the car. It’s also important to check that the vehicle registration plates match the vehicle itself and can often be worth paying extra to get a car history report which can include reports of the car being stolen and other important information.

In Ireland, all cars that are four years or older must have successfully passed an NCT (National Car Test) to be road worthy. Cars under ten years old are tested every two years and cars older than ten are tested every year. Buying a car that is NCT certified means it is fit to drive however, getting a full vehicle inspection is the most secure option.

Maintenance & Service History
A car that is serviced regularly and well maintained is going to be more efficient and safer to drive. By checking service history and log books, you can make sure all of this is up to date. It’s best to avoid buying a vehicle that’s due a major service soon after your purchase as this can be costly and avoiding this can help you save a good bit.

Test drive and physical inspection
While the best option is always to get a professional inspection, here’s a checklist of items you need to be looking out for if you’re going to take a look on your own:

While stationary:

• Check inside, outside and under the car and bonnet carefully.

• Check there are no leaks in the oil or brake fluid.

• Look for clear signs of repair from accidents.

• Examine car door and window seals for signs of wear and tear.

While test driving the car:

• Check the cars steering and ensure it’s not “loose” or pulling you to one side.

• Listen closely for strange engine noises or rattles.

• Check that all electrical items in the vehicle are working correctly.

Once you’ve picked your dream car, AIB Car Finance has a range of options to help you make it a reality. Visit our website to get a quote today and get quick car loan approval in just 3 hours.

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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