Buying a used car can be a great investment. Whether you intend for this vehicle to be for your primary use, or as a second vehicle in your household. Typically, a used car is going to have a better resale value than a brand-new vehicle, and at a better price too.

However, whether you’re intending on a private sale or purchase from a reputable car dealership, you want to make sure that you’ve done your research and that the potential vehicle is in the best possible condition for your needs. Vehicle purchases are often costly, and it’s imperative that you understand the full condition of your new car before taking it home.

Today at insuremycars.ie we are sharing with you some of the signs that you should look out for when purchasing a used vehicle.

Vehicle History

One of the first things that you should ask about any vehicle you’re considering for purchase is about the history of the vehicle. You want to gather as much information on the previous ownership and performance of the vehicle before even taking it for a test drive. Some of the questions you should ask are:

  • How many owners has the car had?

Knowing if the car has had several owners, a vehicle has can allow you to assess the treatment of the car overtime and how the car has been managed in the past

  • Has the car been involved in any accidents, if so – what were they?

Knowing whether a vehicle has had a previous accident is imperative when considering buying a car. Damage to a vehicle, even if it has been fixed can indicate structural damage that can affect the vehicle in the long term.

If the car has been in a previous accident, request information on the accident and the repairs and ensure that all repairs were managed by a reputable dealership or garage.

  • Is the car still under warranty? If so, what does the warranty entail?

Some vehicles come with extended service warranties, you’ll want to know if the car you’re considering is equipped with one, or if you are responsible for maintenance and upkeep from the get-go

  • Can I see the vehicles service history?

It’s important to know if the previous owner has maintained the vehicle and if any issues have been identified or have been ongoing in previous services. Inspect the service history of the vehicle and check maintenance records. If the service history is not available, continue with caution

  • Can I see the logbook?

Especially when purchasing a vehicle from a private seller, you should always ask to see the logbook to ensure that you are dealing with the registered owner of the vehicle for your own safety and security.

  • When is the NCT due for renewal?

When looking to buy a vehicle you want to take into consideration when the NCT is due and factor that into the cost of the vehicle. If you know that you’re going to have to have the car inspected within the next three to five months, it’s reasonable to factor this into the overall cost of the vehicle. In 2019 58% of vehicles failed the initial NCT which means it’s imperative to identify any issues prior to purchase.

Tyre Condition

Tyres are expensive, so when looking to purchase a new car it’s important to check on the condition of the tyres and know if they are going to require replacement, if so, you should factor this into the overall cost of your purchase.

When checking the state of a tyre you’ll want to check the tread depth. The tread of the tyre is what allows it to grip the surface of the road and prevents sliding. The legal tread depth for a vehicle in Europe is 1.66mm. You can check this by purchasing a tread gauge and ensuring that testing is being performed while the vehicle is on a flat surface.

If tyres do need replacing, they may not be a complete deal-breaker, but they should factor into the overall cost of the vehicle.

Used Car Tyre

Current Mileage

Checking the mileage of a vehicle tells you a lot about the car you’re considering buying. A car with incredibly high mileage is at risk of presenting problems down the line, even if the seller ensures there have been no issues in the past and the bodywork of the vehicle looks great. Even newer cars that show incredibly high mileage can cause an issue down the line, especially if you too intend to use the car quite heavily.

High mileage however isn’t always a bad thing. If you’re looking for a first-time vehicle, a second car for your home or a second hand SUV that you will get a few years out of, high mileage may not be your biggest concern. Ensure that you judge the vehicle based upon your overall needs.

However, more important than high mileage is low mileage. If you’re looking at a used vehicle and the mileage is incredibly low, “too good to be true” low – it probably is. You want to ensure that the seller of the vehicle hasn’t “clocked” the mileage. This is the process of rolling back the number of kilometres on the car to increase the overall value of the vehicle. If the mileage looks too low for the age and use of the vehicle, be wary of continuing the transaction.

Under the Hood

Checking under the hood of the car is one of the most important steps when buying a new car. It will tell you pretty much everything that you need to know about the vehicle’s treatment and condition prior to your purchase.

You might be thinking to yourself, but I don’t know anything about the mechanics of a vehicle That’s okay! If you’re at the serious consideration point of purchasing a vehicle, let the seller know you would like to take it to a mechanic to do a run-through of the vehicle and identify any underlying issues that might not be immediately apparent.

When buying a used vehicle, one of the biggest drawbacks is not having full knowledge of a vehicle’s mechanics, so it’s essential that you have someone with expertise to provide input so that you can rest assured you’re making a solid investment.

Interior and Exterior of the Vehicle

This might seem like a no-brainer but ensuring that the interior and exterior of the car are in good condition is imperative to telling how the car has been treated and can help to identify some issues that might not be so obvious.

  • Vehicle Exterior

When inspecting a used car’s exterior, it’s important to look for scrapes, bumps and rust that might be presenting themselves. Rust especially, other than being an eyesore can be a recurring issue with a vehicle and you’ll want to factor that into your o