Company News from yesinsurance
13 March 2007 Insurer publishes top tips for buying a used car
Online insurance provider yesinsurance.co.uk today publishes a list of 10 top tips for purchasing a used car.
“Over 7 million of the 30 million cars currently on the road are bought and sold as used vehicles each year,” said Paul Purdy of yesinsurance.co.uk.
“DVLA figures show that each year around a quarter of all private motorists buy a used car, whilst less than one in ten buy a new one. After buying a house, it is usually the biggest purchase we make, so it is important to go through a thorough checklist before committing yourself,” he said.
yesinsurance.co.uk recommends buyers take the following basic precautions when purchasing a used car:
1. Mechanical check
In addition to giving the car a basic mechanical check yourself, get a professional inspection made by a reputable organisation such as the AA or RAC.
2. Status check
Obtain a vehicle status check, which will tell you if the car has been reported stolen, written off by an insurance company, or still has finance outstanding. Companies providing these checks include HPI, Experian and the RAC.
Do some research on the internet to see what prices similar cars are going for, and make a check with Glass’s Guide on the valuation of vehicles.
The vehicle must have a new style DVLA vehicle registration document, known as a V5C. Do not accept an old style V5 document, as these have now been replaced. Vehicles over 3 years old must also have a valid MOT certificate.
Check that the condition of the car matches the stated mileage. Indications of high mileage can be: shiny/worn steering wheel or gear knob; worn pedal rubbers; wear on the driver’s seat; many stone chips on nose of car; excessive numbers of owners; loose, scratched or rounded screws on instrument panel, which may indicate that it has been removed in order to alter the mileage – known as clocking.
6. Quick checks
- Rust check: sills, wheel arches, seams, door bottoms, suspension mountings
- Check body panels with a magnet to find body filler
- Check engine for oil leaks, damaged hoses, drive belts
- Check door, window and sunroof seals for leakage
- Check all tyres, including spare, for tread depth and damage/bulges
7. Test driving
Spend at least 20 minutes driving the car – but make sure you are insured to do so. Test the electrics, lighting and steering. You should also check that the engine idles smoothly and that smoke is not expelled from the exhaust, once the car is warmed up. Make sure that the brakes work effectively and do not pull to one side.
8. Your rights
Buying from a dealer can give you stronger rights than you would have when buying privately, but it will also usually cost you more. When buying from a dealer, the car will usually come with additional warranty or mechanical breakdown insurance.
Once the car is purchased, shop around to get the best insurance deal, as some insurers will offer better prices on newer vehicles, whilst others, such as yesinsurance.co.uk, are better for used vehicles.
10. Online information
Go to the following websites for more information before buying a used car:
- Central Office of Information www.direct.gov.uk
- AA (DEKRA mechanical check) www.dekra-assured.com
- RAC www.rac.co.uk
- HPI www.hpicheck.com
- Experian (status check on behalf of the AA) www.aacardatacheck.co.uk
- Glass’s Guide www.glass.co.uk
- Autotrader (car prices) www.autotrader.co.uk
yesinsurance.co.uk specialises in providing insurance for cars that are over 5 years old, which it estimates account for around 60% of all cars currently on the road.
The average age of cars in Great Britain, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), is currently 6.8 years.