Guest Blogger | Buying An Old Used Car

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Whilst I am on holiday, I thought it was a great opportunity for another guest blog, this time on the subject of buying an old used car.

Buying any used car can be tricky enough, but even more so if the budget is tight and you can only afford an older model. However, this doesn’t mean you should end up with a bad and costly vehicle, many people buy old cars for not much money and run them happily for years. If you do your homework, and know what to look out for then there is no reason why you can’t grab a bargain. Although this article gives you some advice on the matter, it’s also very wise to speak to people in the know and get some first-hand advice. The internet also offers up many forums and communities of car enthusiasts who generally are pleased to help out where possible.


When viewing an old used car, it’s important to try and get a good idea of the cars history. This will tell you how well the car has been looked after, and what work has been done before you buy it. For cars with a high mileage it’s also a very good idea to see how long certain parts last i.e the clutch, cam belt, head gasket and so on. If you know this information you should be able to build up a picture of what work may need to be done, and check this against work already completed on the car. It’s amazing how much money this little bit of research can save you in the long run, and can make the difference between buying a wreck and grabbing a real bargain.

General Condition

The general condition of the car can give away signs to further problems. On the other hand, some cars are in great condition, yet under the bonnet the potential problems may tell an entirely different story. But, it’s still worth having a good look around the car and checking for things such as excessive rust, dents and other signs of accidents, tyre conditions and so on. When buying old used cars, most people aren’t too fussed about how the car looks as long as it runs well. Just have a good look around to try and make sure the car seems safe.

Mechanical Condition

This is what really counts, and if you know someone with mechanical knowledge see if you can convince them to come along and offer their opinion. The pint you buy them in the pub afterwards will definitely be worth it! If you don’t have the luxury of a mechanic friend, there are things you can take a look at yourself. Check all the fluid levels and look under the car and in the bonnet for signs of leaks. Drips and residue under the car will indicate a leak, and these can be expensive to fix in certain places. If there is excessive oil under the bonnet it could be a sign that the head gasket is about to go. If this is the case…run a mile or negotiate a massive chunk from the asking price.

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Posted by admin   @   7 September 2010

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2 Opinions

  • DanielleJ

    I thought this Blog was very informative but I disagree slightly with one of the points made regarding the look of the vehicle.

    This has become more important recently as it is so cheap to have dents and chips removed. Another tip for used car buyers in the UK is to check the MOT on, this will tell you if the mileage is correct and also will let you know what advisorys were issued on the last MOT. I had a look at a Ford Galaxy recently and discovered that mileage had been tampered with, I would never have known without this tool.

  • Tari Ledsome

    It is quite a joy when your car lasts longer than you expect it to. Well, it is everybody’s aim, as they say. But it all starts with yourself, the moment you buy a new or used car of your own. Knowing its history, and its mechanical and general condition helps a lot in making your goal attainable.

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