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Top tips for buying a high mileage used car

If you are thinking of buying a high mileage used car, you will probably purchase it privately for a lower price than a new car. You will also likely save a significant amount of money on the purchase price of the car. However, if you are not careful, you can end up paying more in the long run for the used car than if you had bought a new car. Here are three top tips for buying a high mileage used car you should keep in mind to ensure you make the right purchase.

1. Do not buy a used car in hurry

This may sound like basic advice, but you may be surprised at how many people actually buy used cars in a rush simply because they think they have gotten an unbeatable bargain or the seller urges them to make a quick buy. Take at least a day or two to inspect the car you identify for purchase before you actually part with your money. Don't rush in to any purchase. This tip will go a long way in helping you get value for your money.

2. Inspect the car thoroughly

Again this might sound like simple advice, but it is surprising how many people actually don't thoroughly inspect the car they want to purchase. The biggest concern when buying a high mileage used car is that the car might not be in the right condition to meet your needs. Inspect the used car thoroughly from all angles in a well lit place to address this concern. Don’t inspect the car at night, in the rain or in poor lighting if you want to identify important details that might influence your buying decision.

Check the car for dents, water scratches and worn out tires and interiors. Pay attention to the smoke emitted when the car is turned on. The presence of any emitted smoke when the car is turned on is usually bad. For example, if the car produces blue exhaust pipe smoke, the car usually has an engine problem that is causing excessive oil burning. Also, check the odometer reading to get an idea of the car’s life.

3. Request the V5C registration document

Just to be sure you are buying a high mileage used car that is actually what the seller says it is, insist on seeing the V5C vehicle registration document. The V5C vehicle registration document shows the details of the legally registered keeper of the car, as well as the details of previous keepers and not the present owner.

If the present registered keeper is not the person selling the car, demand an explanation why he or she is selling the car for someone else. Contact previous keepers of the car you want to buy and enquire their general opinion of the car. A previous keeper will usually have no vested interest in the car and can give you valuable information about the high mileage used car you want to buy.

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