What to Look for When Buying a Used Car


In the quest for a new set of wheels, purchasing a used car can be a cost-effective and sensible choice. But before you take the plunge, it’s crucial to arm yourself with the knowledge required to make an informed decision. In this blog, we’ll delve into the key factors to consider when buying a used car, helping you navigate the process with confidence and ease. Whether you’re browsing Dicksons of Inverness’ impressive inventory or exploring other options, these tips will apply to any used car purchase.

  1. Establish Your Budget

Before you begin your search, it’s essential to determine how much you’re willing to spend on a used car. Consider not only the purchase price but also ongoing expenses such as insurance, taxes, and maintenance. Being clear about your budget will help you narrow down your options and prevent overspending.

  1. Research Makes and Models

Once you have your budget in mind, research different makes and models that fit your requirements. Consider factors such as fuel efficiency, reliability, and resale value. Online resources and car review websites can provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of various vehicles.

  1. Verify the Vehicle’s History

When you’ve identified a specific used car that you’re interested in, it’s time to check its history. Dicksons of Inverness provides comprehensive information about their used cars on their website, including vehicle history reports. Look for details like accident history, title status, and mileage to ensure you’re getting an accurate picture of the car’s past.

  1. Inspect the Exterior and Interior

When you go to physically inspect the car, start with the exterior. Look for signs of damage, rust, or inconsistencies in paint colour, as these could indicate past accidents or poor maintenance. Inside, pay attention to the condition of the upholstery, dashboard, and electronics. Check for unusual smells, as they might hint at hidden issues.

  1. Test Drive the Used Car

A test drive is a critical step in assessing a used car’s condition. Pay close attention to how the car handles, brakes, and accelerates. Listen for unusual noises and vibrations. Test all features, including the air conditioning, radio, and lights. A thorough test drive will reveal a lot about the car’s overall health.

  1. Consult a Mechanic

If a private sale, it’s sometimes wise to have a trusted mechanic inspect the used car before finalising the purchase. They can identify potential issues that may not be immediately evident and provide an estimate of any necessary repairs. This step can save you from unexpected expenses down the road. At Dicksons of Inverness, we ensure our used cars are in excellent condition and are of the best quality for you to drive away in.

  1. Negotiate the Price of a Used Car

Once you’re satisfied with the condition of the car, it’s time to negotiate the price. Do your research on market values for the make and model you’re interested in and be prepared to haggle. Be polite but firm, and don’t be afraid to walk away if the seller isn’t willing to meet your terms.

  1. Review the Paperwork

Before signing on the dotted line, carefully review all paperwork related to the sale. Ensure that the title is clear, and all necessary documents, such as the service history and owner’s manual, are included. Be wary of any discrepancies or missing information.

Looking for a Used Car in Inverness?
Buying a used car can be a rewarding experience when approached with diligence and care. By setting a budget, researching thoroughly, inspecting the vehicle, and consulting experts when needed, you can confidently make a purchase that suits your needs and preferences. When in doubt, remember that Dicksons of Inverness offers a range of quality used cars with comprehensive histories, making us a reliable choice for your next vehicle purchase. Happy car hunting (and driving)!

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