What should you check for when you’ve
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#sayhello to Britains' best motoring hub.
Lights – make sure that none of the bulbs need replacing
Indicators – check they all work; and don’t forget any repeaters on the side of the car
Wheels – ensure there are no marks or scuffs from kerbing that will mean the wheels will need replacing
Wheelarches – this is a common place for rust, so check them all over carefully
Panel gaps – ensure they are consistent all over the body
Windscreen – ensure there are no cracks that could lead to an MOT failure
Roof – if you’re looking at a convertible, make sure the roof moves up and down smoothly and locks fully into place, check the material for tears
Paint – check the car is a consistent colour all over
Windows – make sure that any electrically operated windows work, and work smoothly
Tyres – check they all have plenty of tread left, and that the wear is even across them; and don’t forget the spare
Suspension – when the car is pressed down, it should return smoothly to its normal height
Whether you like to think of it as your A to B buddy or an extension of your own personality, choosing a car is a big decision. So instead of spending time you don’t have running around town comparing prices, we’ve done the hard work for you and pooled our (not inconsiderable) resources with Auto Trader.
Using Auto Trader to find your perfect car is like using shampoo to wash your hair – not only is it the most straightforward choice, it’s also the number one car marketplace for a reason. Because it’s no secret that hitching yourself to a vehicle is a big commitment... You want to get it right the first time.
How to get the best deal
Discover Auto Traders top tips for securing the best deal. Share your own tips and you could win a luxury spa break for you and your car.
Here are some of our users top tips
‘If buying a car puts you out of your comfort zone, enlist a knowledgeable friend to help with the actual viewing – plus do your research first. Check market values for the car make and model you are planning to buy, and if you will be borrowing to finance your purchase, get loan quotes so you know exactly how much you can afford. Set up your viewings during daylight hours so you will be able to spot any scrapes, scratches or potential defects that might be hidden at night. And finally, take a checklist of all questions you want to ask the seller – so you don’t miss anything off.’
Bernadette Fallon - Editor All About You
‘More than 40% of cars are owned by women. Not only are women buying cars, but they’re a major influence in most private car-purchasing decisions. But negotiating a killer deal — now that's another matter! Confidence is key. Tell the seller exactly what you are looking for. If you are patronised, ignored, or feel you’re getting a raw deal, you’re at liberty to walk away. There are plenty of great private sellers out there who will be happy to have your business, so you don’t have to jump at the first opportunity.’
Caroline Bloor - Consumer Director Good Housekeeping
‘Buy a car that makes your heart sing, even if it's just because it's your favourite colour or because there's lots of compartments inside to get organised... you spend a lot of time your car, there should be something about it that
‘Consider less popular colours for a better deal when buying second hand’
‘Test drive the car, imagine yourself doing the everyday things you would in the car. Before you buy the car; think does the car match your lifestyle and fit with your family. To be honest a car is like an additional family member. Nowadays a car is a need rather than a luxury; especially if you have small kids. Look after your car and it will look after you.’
‘Try out friends, colleagues or relatives cars, you might be surprised that they fit your requirements. You have unbiased, real users to give you accurate information on ownership positives and negatives.’
‘Look for wear on pedals, seat sides, gearstick etc. It takes tens of thousands of miles to get this, so check it against what the odometer says’