Buying a Used Car

Buying a Used Car

10 November 2011
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There are many advantages to buying a used car, including:

• Insurance generally costs less for an older car than for a brand-new one.
• Used cars depreciate less after purchase than new cars do.
• It may be easier to negotiate with an individual owner than with a car dealer.

There are, however, important disadvantages that you must consider as well:

Used Cars Can Offer Sketchy History

When it comes to buying used cars, one of the bad things is that you can never be too sure how reliable the car is. With used cars, there may be history of past collisions or problems that have not been recorded, thus, you will end up having to deal with the problems later on. Insist on seeing the V5 registration document. See our checklist

Certain Categories to Watch Out for –

Cat D- Is one where the value of the car is between 60% and 100% of the value of the car - Insurance companies write them off in order to avoid the risk that the repair turns out to be more costly than first thought.

Cat C - Is where the value is less than the repair. Normally the Police have to be notified when a Cat C is returned to the road because they want to check it's not been ringed - I mean why would you spend more money repairing a car less than what it's worth. Sometimes it can be OK, maybe the damage was less than expected or maybe good second hand parts were used but I'd be asking a lot of questions about why somebody thought a Cat C was worth "professionally repairing" I'd want an engineers report and I'd want to know who repaired it and check them out.

If you feel it’s worth it, check these out:

Its Northamptonshire based and they are the only people in the UK authorised to inspect a car and have it removed from the HPI database.

If in doubt steer clear!

Always ask to see the full documentation history and the maintenance book to see if it’s been stamped and serviced appropriately at the correct mileage intervals. Also inspect the M.O.T. certificates to see if they are all present and run concurrently.

Don’t forget to do plenty of homework, by comparing prices of similar cars with usage and features. Don’t over pay and it is good advice not to buy a car in the rain, poor light or at night.

An Opinion on Insurance

A rough guide - When you buy a car, do you consider the effect on your car insurance premiums? Many people do not think about premiums until after they have already made a car purchase deal. They only learn how much the car will cost when they call their broker the next morning.

But since those premiums can be a large percentage of the overall cost of owning a new or used vehicle, I think this is a mistake. People do consider how much a loan payment will affect their monthly budget. But they do not consider the other cost of ownership, and that is the vehicle insurance premiums.

What makes a car cheaper to insure?

You probably know that your own rates are set by many individual factors. Your age, driving history, and the post code you live in all matter, but beyond that, the type of vehicle affects premiums too.

Insurers tend to retain all sorts of statistics on cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. They consider how often this particular car type gets stolen, how often it may be involved in accident claims, and how expensive those claims have been to repair. There are a lot of different factors can affect the statistics above and insurers consider this too.

Some cars have been well constructed so they generally don’t tend to run up an expensive repair bill when they are damaged. Some makes can be cheaper to repair with parts and supplies that are more common and cheaper to purchase. But for some other vehicles this can prove to be very expensive to repair because the parts are less common or because of the way they have been constructed.

Some cars attract safer drivers too.

Insurers have the belief that certain types of cars just tend to be purchased by a type of driver that maybe considered low risk. Let’s take for example, hybrid cars. Insurers sometimes discount the purchase of a hybrid vehicle because experience has taught them this type driver is more of a socially aware person who might buy a hybrid and also tends to avoid accidents and look after their cars.

Don’t necessarily assume that one particular type of car will be cheaper to insure than another. If we were to look at the vehicle list that makes the top or bottom of the insurance costing list, we would find all makes and models. One Estate may cost less to insure, while another appears to run up expensive claims, and so it costs more.

Does Size Matter?

Some people have the opinion that the larger or heavier vehicle might be cheaper to insure because they are safer. But insurance companies have learned that the way a vehicle is constructed matters more than how many tons of steal went into producing it. Smaller cars, like hatchbacks are cheaper to insure. Some large SUVs are considered risky, and insurers have higher rates for these.

When shopping around for another new or used car, it might be worth it if you to get some competitive insurance quotes. It may not be so wise to save a few pounds on car loan payments, if in turn those savings are eaten up with insurance premiums!

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