How to choose a used car

Summertime. And the living is easy. Great song, and never have truer words been spoken. The sunshine gives us an uplifting outlook on life. Without wishing to oversell the point, you could be laying on a small rock in the middle of the ocean, with sharks circling and no hope of escape, but a break in the clouds and a nice bit of sunshine is all it would take to make you think “things could be worse”. We want to get out in the sunshine. And if you want to go further than a short walk to the local store and back, you’re going to need transport. But what’s that, you say? You’re fed up with your old car? Already had it for a whole year longer than you’d ever planned to keep it? Fancy a change?

Of course, if you’re looking to upgrade your car because of a knock or an accident that has left you with a less than attractive or damaged set of wheels, there are other considerations. Namely, you may need a car accident lawyer. This is not an uncommon theme of wishing to change vehicles.

Research the market value

We’re not going to suggest for one moment that you are the kind of consumer who is likely to have the wool pulled over your eyes by a con artist who will convince you to pay way over the odds for a car that is worth nowhere near as much as the asking price. BUT. And there is a but. Where an owner of a used car has spent time and money on upgrading a handful of superficial features, they are likely to want to pass on that cost (otherwise they wasted upwards of probably a weekend toiling over the look of their pride and joy for nothing, just to give away the “improvements” for free). Beware the seller who wants compensation for their labour. Best to avoid this type of vehicle altogether, as the market price will never match the asking price. Research market prices and stick to models that fit the bill.

Age and mileage

Most features on a car can be changed. Old or misaligned tires? No problem. Steering leaning to the right? That’s an easy fix. Issues with brake lights, windscreen wipers, the AC …can all be fixed. What can’t be fixed is the car’s age and mileage. Go for a model that has around 12,000 miles on the clock for each year of age. This is about average, and shouldn’t lead to any surprises.

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