Motor Matters: Getting The Best Car For Your Cash

woman driving a new car

We all want to get the best car for our money, but let’s face it- it can be daunting for anyone to walk into a car showroom and start haggling over a car, and this sense of dread might ramp up considerably if you’re choosing to buy a car from a private seller. There are of course some real advantages to buying privately, the main being the price. You will quite probably walk away with a better deal than at a dealership but the real downside is that you have no real recourse should the car die on its wheels after the first week. That’s why it’s crucial to have just a little bit of knowledge on your side before you buy. If you can, take with you an expert when you go the following tips should help too.

Vehicle checks
Before you go to see a car in person, there are a few checks you can do first. Even if it's from a showroom with a good reputation like Hilton Garage, it's worth doing some digging and seeing what you can find out about its past for your own peace of mind. There are checks you can do to find out if the car has any existing finance, if it was ever written off or anything else is suspect.

Around the car
When you go to see the vehicle, you’ll want to check the body work for any obvious signs of rust, damage or repair work. Where it looks like it has been filled or resprayed, ask the seller what happened. Don’t be afraid to push firmly in case the body work gives way and you find the respray is masking a greater problem. Inside, check for tears and staining on the seats and make sure that everything moves freely and works properly in the case of the indicators, air con and so forth. Don’t be afraid to take a look under the bonnet too. You’re looking out for one main thing, the state of the head gasket. You don’t need to know what this looks like but check that it’s not leaking by taking off the oil filler cap and checking for a foamy residue inside. If you do come across this, then it means there’s a likely leak and you should consider stepping well away from buying this vehicle. Other checks you might want to do are the hoses and belts, just make sure that they’re not fraying or show any obvious signs of being torn. You can also check that nothing is leaking by looking for brown oil stains. Once you’re happy with all these things you’ll be able to take the car on a test drive.

This is the daunting bit, but if you’ve done your research on similar makes and models and know roughly how much you’ll be looking for, then stick within that price range and go in with a reasonably low offer. Don’t be afraid to creep up only very slowly and stick to your top figure. You have the advantage so don’t be afraid to use it to secure a bargain. When you’ve nabbed yourself something reliable and stylish at the price you wanted, having carried out some trouble shooting checks, you’ll be rightfully proud of a job well done. With just a little bit of knowledge to hand you can save yourself some money and learn some essential bargaining skills.