Our top tips on buying used cars

The used car festival is here, a fantastic opportunity to get some great deals! So why not take advantage and get yourself some new wheels? Here’s how to get the best deal.

Cash or credit?

First and foremost, as regards financing, you need to decide how much you want to spend and how you will pay for your purchase. While a choice between using your savings to pay in cash and taking out a loan often springs to mind first, it might be worth using a combination of savings and credit. That way, you can reduce your monthly loan repayments and keep more of your savings.

Understanding the market

As with any market, certain trends are at play in the second-hand motors sector. Various factors may influence trends, including legislation: for example, in recent times, legislation has resulted in a significant drop in the value of diesel cars.

Understanding the market will put you in a stronger position when it comes to the negotiation.

Written documents

Once you have found a dealer and set up a meeting, don’t forget to ask for and read through the maintenance records, invoices, registration card, roadworthiness test documents, logbook, etc.

Before buying a used car, you need to have a full picture of the lifecycle of the vehicle. Don’t hesitate to bring along a friend or family member, with some mechanical knowledge if possible, for a second opinion.

Keep your eyes peeled

Next, you need to inspect the vehicle thoroughly, preferably in daylight in a well lit area. Don’t forget to bring your torch or smartphone. You will need to check the following:

  • The exterior: the paint work, the windows and windscreen, the tyres, the windscreen wipers, etc.
  • The interior: the mileage on the odometer, seats and seat covers, floor liners, dashboard controls and air conditioning.
  • Run the engine while the car is stationary to check for any leakage.

Test it out

While your vehicle may seem perfect at first sight, there’s nothing like a test drive to show up any problems. Listen closely to the start-up noises and don’t hesitate to check the exhaust emissions. If the dealer refuses a test drive, it’s best to move on.
If you are still in doubt, you can always make an appointment with the dealer at the automobile club diagnostic centre on Route de Longwy in Bertrange, for an A to Z check.

Last but not least, make sure you have all the necessary documents before closing the deal: draw up a checklist, and only pay once you have received all the documents.

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