THE NEW normal, means a used car, it seems, with cash tight and second-hand cars now seen as more viable.
According to one recent survey, there has been a 50 per cent increase in searches for a used motor.
But to make sure you get a bargain and not a banger, I asked Chris Barella, of motor specialists Euro Car Parts, for tips to drive down spending.
CHECK THE MOT: Chris says: “If a vehicle has very little MOT time remaining, there’s a good chance the seller knows it won’t pass without expensive repairs.”
My tip: If the car has a longer MOT on it, you can be more confident, knowing that it shouldn’t have any major problems. The MOT Covid break ends today so there are plenty of offers out there. For me, the cheapest option is always my local council MOT centre.
CHECK ITS HISTORY: Chris says: “A car that hasn’t got a full history of servicing is likely to have developed additional wear and tear.”
My tip: When checking the service history, see if there have been any recurring problems as well as checking how regularly the car has been serviced. Dealers can usually provide service history of a car if it was maintained there.
CHECK THE ADVERT: Chris says: “If you turn up and view a car covered in scratches that was described as “perfect condition” then you are within your rights to ask for a discount. Checking the specification against what was advertised is just as important.”
My tip: Compare prices with similar cars you’ve looked at. I like carwow.co.uk. Remember: Haggling pays and ask for a discount if the car is different to what’s been advertised.
TAKE IT FOR A SPIN: Chris says: “A proper test drive should take at least an hour. Knocking and banging could signify any number of problems and unnatural movements during acceleration or braking should be cause to walk away from a vehicle.”
My tip: If you’re not very familiar with cars, I’d suggest taking a friend with you who knows what to look for.
Deal of day
GET your motor road ready with a FREE ten-point car check at Halfords, usually £15. It will take around 30 minutes, then you will be fit to hit the road. Book yours at halfords.com.
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Giselle’s little helper
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