If you've never done it before, the work involved in buying a car can seem extraordinarily confusing. I know, because I've done it - and my brain isn't great at life admin.
So, to help you on your way, here's a step-by-step list of everything you need to do before you can pootle off into the sunset.
Missing information - things like number of previous owners and whether it has a full service history
Whether the car has ever had any body work done - basically: has it crashed and therefore been weakened?
If it has all its documents - V5C (logbook), owner's handbook, receipts for tyres and work
Whether the car has any modifications - things like upgraded stereo systems can affect your insurance
(If that all goes well) When you can see it and where it'll be
Go in with a healthy dose of scepticism. The seller wants to sell; if the information is missing, it's likely your suspicions are correct.
Go check out the car
Take a buddy / parent if you think they'll be tougher than you (sometimes love can blind us to things like faulty windscreen wipers...). The important thing is not to rush into buying - there will be other cars!If you're pretty sure you want this make and model, take the opportunity to try everything out and make sure it's comfortable. Even if you don't buy THIS car, you'll know now exactly what you're after and have an idea of what it should cost.
Every seller is going to tell you they've got other people coming to see it and they need a quick sell. Ignore them. You should never rush into uying a car because that's how you end up with a very expensive lawn ornament.Run some more quotes (prices can change by the day!), write a pros and cons list and tot up your monies.
If it's looking good, send the owner a deposit to keep the car for you.
Buy the car
If you're sure, arrange a return trip to buy the car and take it home.
Things you'll need to go with:
Cash - if it's a large amount (over £500), check with your bank the day before so you KNOW they'll have enough to give you
Phone - you'll need to buy your insurance and tax before you drive the car away
Things you'll need to leave with:
Insurance - set up the quote you're going for beforehand so all you need to do is buy it
Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate.
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ingenie is a car insurance brand for young drivers aged 17-25. We fit a black box in your car to assess your driving style. We'll review your policy 3 times a year and those who drive well could receive a discount.