Buying a second-hand car can be daunting. Often we hear stories of how people bought cars that were in a very bad condition. There are a number of cars on the market which aren’t roadworthy anymore. However, at the same time, there are plenty of second-hand vehicles which are in great working condition.


Finding the perfect second-hand car for yourself can be an easy task, and here are a few tips which can assist you.

Do your research

Even if your friend is selling you their car or you have spotted a car you like and you’re interested in buying it, you must do your research. When you do your research you have a higher chance of buying a car in good condition.


Private sales can be tricky because its only between you and the buyer and there is a possibility you could get scammed. The way around that is to read and find out more about the car you're interested in.


Find out if it might give you any problems once you have bought it and look at how much fuel the car consumes. If you are on a budget it would be best to opt for a car that won’t cost more than you can afford.

Find out more about the car

It’s important that you ask the seller questions about the car. Find out how long they have had it for and what their experience with it was like. There are times when the seller might lie but asking the seller these important questions should hopefully reveal their dishonesty.

Find out if the car originally belonged to the seller or if it was second-hand. Finding out whether it was a second-hand car when the seller bought it is very important. Information like this can give you an idea of how long the car has been around and what condition it’s in.

Look around

Even though you really love the car, it would be advisable to look around and consider other options. A better option would include less mileage on the car if it is fairly new or you could find a car for a better price.


Keep in mind that even though you would love to buy a car at a low amount, sometimes you need to spend a bit more for quality. Look online to see if there are any other deals or cars that interest you. When you look around you might find that they’re selling the car at a much higher price, finding this out might help you when its time to negotiate a price.

Think about financing

There are many finance options. Ideally, it would be best if you could buy the car in cash, but, in these economic times, it's quite hard. Even if you don’t have enough money, there is private vehicle finance available for you.


Lenders give you the opportunity to buy the car of your dreams. Many authorised financial services offer private car finance deals. Motor vehicles are expensive so being able to get financing privately can be helpful for you as a buyer.

Ask for a test drive

Even if you are the slightest bit interested in the car, you need to take it for a test drive. A test drive is very important when choosing a used car. It helps you get a feel of how the car is when driving it.


You’re also able to tell in what condition it’s in, for example if there is smoking coming out you can find out from the seller what's wrong right there and then.  While you are test driving the car to be sure to turn off the radio, this will help you hear if there are any unusual sounds.

Bring your mechanic

If the seller refuses or seems as if they don’t want you to bring a mechanic that should raise your suspicions. If you are interested in the car then you need to bring a mechanic for a car inspection. Even though you have already test drove the car, there might be a few problems that you're unable to pick up and that's why you need a mechanic.

The necessary documents

If you have decided to buy the vehicle and your mechanic hasn’t seen any problems then you need to request and gather all the documents. Ask to get the full history of the car, that way you know all the relevant information. Check the vehicles books and find out when was the last service.

You also need to check the title and find out whom the car belongs to in case of any fraudulent activities. You can also check the integrity of the car, as there are lenders who can assist you with a verification check.


Make sure to find out if the seller has the roadworthy certification and registration and licensing documents. Having these documents can also make it easier for you when approaching a lender.