Should You Buy A Second Hand Car Online?


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With more complaints against used cars than any other purchase, there are many reasons against buying a second hand car. However, there are also many benefits to purchasing a used car, including one of the most predominant factors, price.

According to Citizens Advice, the current record for complaints about second hand cards is 84,0000 in just one year. The most common problem with such cars is a fault, which needs essential repair. Stats show that in 7% of cases the used car needs to be scrapped, and often there’s not much you can do to get your money back or trace down the previous owner/seller.

To ensure you are well-informed, here are some tips and steps you can take to minimise the chances of buying a dodgy used car online.

What to Buy:

Before you even consider buying anything online, you should work out what it is you can afford and what you should be able to get for that price. You can research this on your own by checking out adverts, websites and magazines, which should help you get a clear and reliable idea of the market.

How to Buy:

Whenever you buy a second-hand car online you should always make sure that you go to view it beforehand. Though you will not be able to drive the car, you can ask your seller to take you around in it to give you a feel for what it sounds like and how it runs.

When you buy from a proper car dealer you will be protected under the Sale of Goods Act, so this means the car that you purchase must match the description first given. This also protects you against unsatisfactory quality or fit, and means you will be able to get your money back or a repair.

When you buy privately, be it via an online platform, at an auction or through an advert in a newspaper, you do need to be more careful and wary, as you won’t be protected by the Sale of Goods Acts. This makes it even more vital that you take the precaution to actually view the car in person before transferring money and signing papers.

What Happens if I Buy Privately but Find a Fault?

If you did decide to purchase a vehicle privately but later found a fault in the car, you do still have a little protection in that the car has to be ‘as described’. To protect yourself as much as possible, it is vital you ask as many questions about the cars condition as possible and get the answers in writing. This way, if the car does have a fault, you’ll be able to challenge the seller’s description and (hopefully) get your money back.

Warning Signs

When you purchase a lot of used cars, you do run tend to pick up common warning signs that something could be wrong. One of the most common warnings signs we have come across is when a seller offers a viewing anywhere other than their home. If a seller doesn’t want you to know where he or she lives, this could be because they don’t want to be found often money has changed hands. Try to avoid this, and never feel under pressure to make a quick deal.

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