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Ten top tips when buying a new car

View profile for Liam Waine
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Ten top tips when buying a new car

With the government’s recent announcement of the plan to lift England out of lockdown people will be undoubtedly deciding on their future plans and what their next purchase is.

For those people deciding to upgrade or change their vehicle there are a few tips that can help with making sure the purchase transaction goes through without any issues.

Vehicles can sometimes not live up to purchasers expectations for a variety of reasons. The last thing anyone would want to deal with is having to negotiate with a supplier following the discovery of defects found with a vehicle they have purchased.

Here are some tips to take into account when buying a new car:

  1. Make sure you do your due diligence.  Carry out some research into the garage you are looking to buy the vehicle from.  See if they are a limited company or a sole trader.  If they are a limited company carry out a company search to ensure you are satisfied they have no financial difficulties.  You can also check if they are a member of any trade body who may be able to assist with any disputes that arise.

  2. Ensure you save a copy of any description of the vehicle which you purchase.  This could be on a website of the garage.  If there are any issues relating to the description of the vehicle then you can make sure you preserve the description of the vehicle which you relied on before purchasing the vehicle

  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the vehicle and ask about the previous history and ownership.  Ask the salesman to see the service history and any other documents the garage has in their possession.  You should also consider carrying out a HPI check on the vehicle to ensure there is no outstanding finance on it.  Complications can occur if this is the case which could result in your vehicle being repossessed.

  4. Carry out a thorough inspection of the vehicle and make sure it is in good condition and does not have any signs of previous accidents or resprays, especially if the vehicle is a used vehicle.  Lift the bonnet up and check the engine.  If you do not feel confident in what you are looking for you should take someone with you or arrange for an independent inspection by someone who is qualified to do so.

  5. Make sure an inspection is carried out on a clear dry day.  Inspecting vehicles in the rain can hinder any visual inspection on body work.

  6. Ask to test drive the vehicle.  Take the vehicle on a test drive and ensure you drive the vehicle through various roads/motorways with different speed limits to make sure you are happy with the vehicle.

  7. Consider how to finance the vehicle.  There are various ways on how to purchase a vehicle.  If you use cash or a bank transfer then you are not afforded any extra protection.  If you use a Credit Card for the purchase or deposit then you may well have added protection pursuant to Section 75 of The Consumer Credit Act 1974 (as amended), subject to meeting specific criteria.  You can also opt to enter into various different finance agreements which may include conditional sale, hire purchase, lease hire etc.  Before entering into any finance agreement you must ensure you understand the agreement and the terms and conditions are fully explained to you.  Do not sign any agreement unless you are sure that you understand it.

  8. Make a contemporaneous record of anything said by the sales representative about the car or finance agreement so that if any issues come up post purchase you can refer to the notes if necessary.

  9. Be wary of signing any declaration on a sales order form or invoice which confirms that you are satisfied with the condition of the vehicle upon delivery.

  10. Should you experience any defects with the vehicle and you are not able to resolve the issue with the garage or finance company (if applicable) you should not delay in seeking independent legal advice at your earliest opportunity.  A delay in doing so may affect the outcome and remedies available to you.

If you have purchased a vehicle valued at £25,000 and over and it has not met your expectations our specialist dispute resolution team are able to advise you on your rights as a consumer. If you would like to speak to a member of the team to discuss your situation call us on 0161 696 6178 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly. 

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