If you're looking to get great value for money, a used car can be a smart purchase. There is a huge amount of top quality used cars on the market. However, the used car market can be a confusing place for a novice. If you're not confident or not armed with the right information, you might be taken advantage of by a disreputable seller.
To be sure that you end up with a quality used car at a bargain price, and not an old banger, you should remember to keep a few things in mind.
Decide on your budget before you start looking and stick to it. Don't be bamboozled by what you see - if you don't remember to keep to your budget, you'll end up spending more than you can afford. Also remember to budget for additional expenses, such as insurance, tax, and the MOT.
Do some research before you hit the used car lots. There are a number of internet resources for people buying and selling used cars. Think about the model, make and size of car that you need and check the usual prices for used cars of that description.
Make a list of any special requirements you have, such as an extra large boot for sports equipment, roof rack, air-conditioning, media features etc. Never buy a used car without first doing a test drive. Check the mileage, the tires, the ignition, the engine, the gears, and the brakes, and all other important functions. If you're not confident about doing these tests yourself, bring along a knowledgeable friend, or have a reputable mechanic or garage do the testing for you.
Thoroughly check the car's paperwork, such as registration documents, vehicle identification number, previous MOT's, repair history, etc. The more documentation you can get your hands on, the more certain you can be as to its quality.
If you remember to keep these things in mind, you'll be sure to end up with a quality used car.