Tips for Buying Used Car – From Zurich Insurance and and Zurich Insurance give some useful advice to used vehicle purchasers:

Used Car Popularity

Car value depreciates so quickly that it can easily make economic sense for people to purchase cars that are second hand or used. According to statistics from AA Ireland, for every new car bought in Ireland almost 2.5 second-hand vehicles are also purchased. Most people end up happy with the purchase but vigilance should be adhered to when shopping around.

zurich_logo-ieWhere to Purchase

In general, there are two types of places where you can source a used car; traders/dealers and private sellers. Traders/dealers usually operate out of a garage location where they have a selection of cars for sale. Private sellers advertise on an individual basis with usually just one vehicle for sale. Locations where they advertise include newspapers, free ad supplements and increasingly online.  Here we have compiled some tips which may help in your quest to find a reliable used car.


buying a used car
1. Quality & Your Rights:

The National Car Test (NCT) was introduced in January 2000 and since then the quality of used cars has improved. If you buy a used car from a dealer/garage, you are protected by the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 effectively giving you the same rights as if the car were new. Depending on the age of the vehicle you might consider purchasing the optional extended warranty the garage may offer as this could minimise the cost of any  repair work down the line.

2. Budget:

When you decide to purchase a used car, you should aim to stick to your budget. It can be tempting to go above this as you peruse the market. If you are selling your own car to buy another used car you should of course take into account the money you will receive for that in your calculations.

3. Assessment

When you set up an appointment with the seller to view the car, ideally you should take someone experienced in cars with you. This process ideally should be done in daylight as it is more difficult to notice marks, dents etc. on the car in the darkness. Take the car for a test drive, check the bodywork, look for evidence of re-spraying or ensure that the odometer has not been interfered with. Crucially, you should specifically ask the seller if the vehicle has previously been involved in an accident.

4. Mechanics:

Once you issue a genuine interest in buying the car, you should arrange to have your mechanic assess the car to ensure that it is in good working order. This practice is perfectly acceptable.

5. Documentation & Car History Checks:

Ask the seller to show you the Vehicle Registration Certificate (VRC) if the vehicle is Irish. If the vehicle is an import from the UK ask to see the V5C. These documents are the ownership documents for the vehicle. It is imperative that the person selling the vehicle, must correspond to the name on the V5 or VRC. Ask for proof of identity if buying privately. The VRC has a 10 digit number on the top right hand corner of the first page. It should look like C061234567. Take down these numbers and match them with a vehicle history check company like Cartell.  Cartell can also give you lots of information on the vehicle such as: the number of previous owners, whether there is finance outstanding, whether the vehicle was ever a company vehicle, or a Taxi/Hackney, and whether they have higher mileage readings for it their records.

6. Questions:

Ask the seller questions about the car and its history. Find out how much the annual car tax costs. Ask why they (if it is a private seller) are selling the car. All these answers may help you to make your decision.