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Buying a used car? Four expert-approved questions that could save you hundreds



Are you thinking about buying a used car? According to the latest research, motorists are three times more likely to buy second hand rather than brand new motor.


The stats released by the AA show that 74% of drivers would rather invest in a used set of wheels, with the more appealing price being the driving force.


But while a used car might be more affordable, it could cost you more in the long run if you don’t purchase your vehicle from an approved or trusted seller. To make sure you don’t get caught out, here’s some questions you might not have thought to ask:


1. When was the timing belt (or cam belt) last changed?


The timing belt – also called the cam belt – is a crucial component of your vehicle’s engine. Without getting too technical, it controls the timing of your vehicle’s combustion engine which essentially helps the car move.


Every car is different, but most manufacturers suggest you’ll need to get your timing belt replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. If it’s not replaced at the right time, it could easily break or cause severe damage to the car’s engine. This will be very expensive to fix and could be enough to write the car off.


So, before buying a used car, check out how many miles it’s clocked up and find out the life span of the timing belt.


2. Does the vehicle have the full service history?


When it comes to the pre-owned car market, the ‘full service history’ (FSH) is a phrase thrown about very often. But what does it mean? And why is it important?


For starters, having the FSH means that the car has been checked and looked after by manufacture-certified dealers. It also means that any previous repairs have been fitted with correctly sourced parts. Plus, a FSH adds a layer of protection that the vehicle should be working as best as it can, and it shouldn’t fail you as soon as the keys are handed over.


Lastly, when it comes to selling your beloved car later down the line, having the FHS can bolster the value of the car and help it look more appealing to buyers, which is always a good thing.


3. Is this a coastal vehicle?


This might seem like a strange question to ask, but it could save you hundreds of pounds.


Unfortunately, coastal cars – or vehicles that live the majority of their lives by the sea – are more likely to be corroded due to the combination of sun and salty air.


This can not only affect a vehicle’s paint, it can have a lasting impact on the car’s finish – including areas you might not even be able to see like the brake callipers, nuts and bolts and excessive corrosion around the seat belts and anchorage points, along with the suspension mountings.


4. What insurance group is the vehicle in?


Yes, the vehicle you are interested in might be fairly priced, but it’s important to think about the insurance too. According to the Group Rating Panel, all in all, there are around 50 different vehicle insurance groups.


The lower the group, the lower your insurance premium should be – but of course you won’t know the exact price until the driver’s age, gender, occupation and driver history are taken into consideration.


Plus, if the car has had a major accident or has been written off, it can be difficult to get insurance on it in future. These are all important factors to take into consideration.


Time to call in the professionals


If you have already bought your new set of wheels, here at Just the Ticket we are happy to give your used car a once over to make sure everything’s in working order.


Bring your new ride down to Just the Ticket within 7 days of purchasing it from a used-car dealership or private seller and we can conduct a used car purchase check.


If something’s not quite right, under the Consumer Rights Law, you have 30 days after purchase to reject the goods. So, it’s well worth your time. To find our more and the price, get in touch.




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