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The first and foremost thing, which needs to be done before buying a used car, is to ask the owner why he or she is selling the car. This may sound like an obvious thing to do, but the fact is that, most people forget to do this. The reason why it is important is because the buyer will be able to get an idea, as to why the current owner is selling it. The fact is that, people will do anything to get rid of a car, which has been giving them trouble. Try and find out as much as possible, regarding maintenance history of the car. Not all previous owners will just volunteer information.

The next step involved in second-hand car purchase, is to have a clear idea as to what type of car you want or need. The market today is flooded with different types of cars. Each one will have its subtle differences, and sometimes, not so subtle. A growing market segment is eco friendly cars. This is basically a fancy term for a car that has good mileage. Even if you are not into eco friendly ideas, this type of car makes great sense in the present state of petrol and diesel prices. Affordable fuel efficient cars are a reality today.

However, eco friendly cars tend to be on the smaller side. Therefore, keep in mind how big the car needs to be. There is no use getting a small car that gives great mileage, if you have to leave people behind. Using the internet to do research is great place to start. Not only is it a good source for size and specifications, you will also get a good idea on prices. However not even the best website can beat taking a look at the actual car. Once you have decided on the model and price range, the next step is to take a look at the actual car.

Many people make the mistake of buying a car which they have found to be exactly what they wanted, no matter what. This can be a huge mistake. If possible, always have mechanic look it over, before signing the papers. Otherwise, there is always the risk of being stuck with a jalopy, and before you know it, you will be do anything to get rid of it. If a mechanic is not available for advice on the used car you are considering, then some of the following steps should be done.
• After opening the bonnet of the car, have good look at the engine. You need to look for broken hoses or wires, and see if there are any leeks or wet spots on the engine. Take a look at the health of the battery. Make sure the coolant is not leaking. Leaks can be detected by looking at the ground where the car was parked.

• After checking the general state of the engine, it is time to look at exterior of the car. See if there are any scratches or corroded areas. This is also a good time to check the health of the tires.

• The last step involves taking the car for a test drive. Check and make sure the brakes and clutch are working properly. If the battery is weak, then the engine will have starting problems. This may indicate a malfunctioning alternator. When driving the car, look for any unusual sounds, such as knocking or hissing sounds. A good condition car should drive with very little noise.

• Last but not least, always try and buy a used car from a dealer, rather than an individual. The main reason for this is because; some dealers will give warranties for their cars.


About the author: Matthew Sadler


Matthew is a Senior Editor at Cars Edition Network and eBest Cars UK - Car Reviews.


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