CCX USED CAR BUYING GUIDE
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Those of you who are lucky enough to be buying a used car either from a main dealer, garage, trader or private seller

Make no mistake this will be a stressful time for you but with a bit of information and a few helpful facts

Hopefully we can take a bit of the stress away and you might even enjoy searching for your next used car.

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      Here are a few pointers:

  • CHOOSING A USED CAR

  • PRICING

  • BUYING A USED CAR

  • AVOIDING A LEMON

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CHOOSING A USED CAR & PRICING

Research prices and Info:

Review your budget and work out what you can afford and what you can get for that price.

Do your research by checking Classified adverts on dedicated websites

( www.ccxuk.com  )

Car Classified Xchange  

Ok obviously we are going to list ourselves before Autotrader/pistonheads/Car and Classic/Ebay and Gumtree.

But we would always recommend you become a member of the relevant car club or one of the specialist forums on line.

This will be invaluable in the pricing and information you will gain from these places,

The pit falls of owning specific vehicles and what are their common faults too.

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  • Servicing tips
  • modification advice
  • garages and companies to stay clear of
  • also Garages and businesses that are recommended by other members.
  • Remember a car enthusiast who is a member of multiple clubs and forums will be known by a lot of other people,

So if you spot their car for sale you can probably guarantee It will want for nothing and it has been meticulously looked after. 

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THE MEETING

If the seller offers a viewing anywhere other than their home, think twice. It means you might not be sure of where he or she lives if there's a problem.

If there is no choice but to meet,

Take a friend not only to be another pair of eyes when viewing and looking over your potential purchase but if you are meeting up somewhere that is not the sellers home,

Hopefully you won’t feel as intimidated and Don't feel under pressure to make a quick decision.

It's important to check the car thoroughly.

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Inspect the car by eye at first but don’t be thrown or swayed by nice shiny alloys or a gleaming polished body.

It may be hiding bigger problems that are unseen.

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                            BUYING A USED CAR 

But you still have to inspect your potential purchase with a keen eye

and not go rushing into it with your heart ruling your purse strings.

Ideally a cold start for the engine is the best for spotting any abnormalities

with pistons / crank / head gasket and any oil or water leaking into or out

from the engine area. 

  •   White water vapour from an exhaust is normal while the engine is cold.
  •  Blue smoke isn't so normal – that's oil burning.
  •  Faint blue smoke from a diesel is OK but black smoke is serious.

 

Keep the engine running until it has reached normal operating temperature either with a test drive or a stationary position on tick over.

A lot of more modern cars have big engine covers that protect the engine and try and make the engine bay look sleeker and more attractive

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But from a buyer’s point of view it is their only to hide the main bit of the car “the engine”.

Every single one of them can be removed with only a couple of fixings, this is a must for inspecting a working engine and all components a good LED light will help you see any oil leaks or problems deep down in its depths.

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Remember all fluid levels should be checked.

You are checking for any warning lights / rising temperature gauges

If this happens at the very least your head gasket has blown!

Before you start the engine a turn of the key will illuminate all your warning lights such as

  • Engine warning light
  • Abs
  • Oil
  • Battery
  • Water

 These should go out when engine is ticking over,

 If not there is a problem somewhere.

Some cars have more lights than others, a read of their owner’s handbook is advised as soon as you purchase your new vehicle.

Or alternatively you could find good information on specific makes and models inside online car forums.

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On the test drive  even if you are a passenger you should be listening and looking at everything and getting a general feel for the vehicle.
Some things will immediately stand out, any knocking noises from the Engine,
Any jerky gear shifts, a slipping clutch or banging from the suspension.
Does the steering wheel have any play, or does the car pull to one side when braking?
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Not exactly new car scent!

Nobody wants to buy an ashtray with 4 seats or a 7 seated dog bed ha-ha,

It might be a good bargaining tool….

Maybe a good valeter will be able to get the offending smells eradicated but it is a big gamble to take.

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CAR  BODY

Check every body panel and the roof for scratches, dents, and rust. Examine the lines of the body panels and doors.

Misaligned panels or large gaps can indicate either poor assembly at the factory or a bad repair. The paint colour and finish should be the same on every body panel too.

 If you think a dent may have been patched with body filler, put a small magnet on it, it won’t stick to an area with body filler. If other parts of the car have been repainted, check for over spray.

 Minor cosmetic flaws and light scratches are no cause for concern, but rust is. Check the outer body for blistered paint or rust. Also inspect the inside of the wheel arches and the door bottoms. Bring a LED light for looking under the wheel arches for rust.

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TYRES

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The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on your tyres is 1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre.

 For safety reasons it is recommended that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached. Many vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing at 3 millimetres.

At 1.6 millimetres in wet weather it takes an extra two car lengths (8 metres) to stop at 50 mph than if your tread was 3 millimetres.

If your car does not have a spare of any kind make sure you are carrying a tyre inflation device of some sort.

 

PLEASE REPLACE UNEVEN OR WORN TYRES, DON’T GAMBLE WITH YOUR’S OR OTHER PEOPLES LIVES.

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BRAKES

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On the test drive you would have done the take your hands off the steering wheel and hit the brakes test,

Well I hope you did.

If the car veers to one side, then you have either uneven brake wear or uneven brake pressure.

A 4 wheel alignment might be needed too.

A visual check is good you will be able to see if the brake pads are worn down or if the discs have a raised lip on them then it’s time for replacements.

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SECURITY

Nearly all cars have some kind of standard security system fitted,

Either alarms fitted to automatically arm when you press the central locking switch on your key fob or immobilisers built into your ignition key.

If the car doesn’t have an alarm fitted it may be an imported vehicle (these vehicles do not have alarms fitted as standard).

An aftermarket alarm might be fitted to the vehicle if that is the case it should have an installation certificate.

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The alarm should be Thatcham category 1 this will be a requirement for most insurance company’s.

In some cases, an expensive or high performance vehicle may have to be fitted with a GPS tracking device.

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AVOIDING A LEMON

PLEASE before you buy any car either from a garage or private we 100% recommend you get an independent car check done

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Personally we always give www.hpi.co.uk  a call or click.

They check if it’s…

  • Stolen
  • Insurance write-off
  • Has outstanding debt
  • Logbook check
  • Mileage discrepancies
  • Number plate changes
  • Imported/Exported
  • VIN Chassis check
  • Valuation
  • If it’s recorded as scrapped
  • Number of previous owners
  • Plus, more….

All covered by a £30,000 guarantee    

For the low cost of £19.99 for a single car and £29.97 for 3 car multi-check.

Go to the DVLA website to check the following details match the ones given by the seller.

  • Year of manufacture
  • Date the car was first registered
  • Engine capacity (size)
  • Colour
  • Expiry date of any taxation
  • Tax rate (known as vehicle excise duty rate).

The MOT history

Check the car's MOT history online using its registration number and the MOT test number or the reference number from the V5C registration document.

This will tell you the date of previous tests, the mileage readings at those tests and any reasons for failure.

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REMEMBER

In a private sale make sure the seller is the owner. Ask to see their driver's licence and compare the details with those on the V5 C registration document (logbook)

Check the VIN (vehicle identification number) it should match the number on the V5 C.

ALSO the VIN plate either in the engine bay, drivers inside door sill or from a viewing panel behind the windscreen have not been tampered with or replaced.

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THE HAGGLE / NEGOTIATING

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This is where a lot of people get stuck or just aren’t

gifted with the silver tongue of negotiation.

Fear not all you have to do is be prepared,

Knowledge is power and in your journey through the

secondhand mine field hopefully you will have gained

a lot of useful information regarding the make & model

Of the car your looking for,

Remembered all the advice you have read on car club

forums and websites, about potential problems and

key things to look out for.

 

 

YOU THOUGHT THAT WAS IT..... 

Now we are going to tell you what other websites won’t.

                   

                    DIRTY TRICKS

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It is your responsibility to check every bit of the paper work (you should be taking on the role of Sherlock Holmes for this) You are looking for any irregularity’s 

With dates, mileage, locations.

Read what the receipts are actually for?

Some People have actually tried to copy friend’s invoices and print fake receipts so be very alert and not be distracted whilst looking through the cars history.

 

Unless a seller has a receipts say for a timing chain/cam belt replacement    Do not believe them,

That’s an average of £500 for all VAG (Volkswagen Audi Group) for example, you want off for starters.

Why so much?

When you chance your belt or chain you

Will probably need the tensioner pulleys and the water pump changed at the same time.

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WET GROUND TRICK

A good trick by an unscrupulous seller is to make it look like he has just washed the car so the ground is all covered in water,

that’s not them being nice and considerate,

it’s to put you off getting down on ground and looking underneath the car for oil leaks and other nasty things.

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DIRTY CAR TRICK

On the opposite end, a dirty car is a car that could be hiding 101 secrets.

Scratches, Paint discolouration, Stone chips,

Curbed and oxidised alloys.

You get the picture, if the seller is trying to display his

Car in this condition either he is trying to hide something or obviously he does not look after it properly and what else has he neglected to do.

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OILY RAG TRICK

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A little sneaky trick to pull on an honest seller by a not so honest buyer is the sleight of hand rag/cloth trick.

You show the seller a nice clean folded rag/cloth when you’re about to check underneath their engine,

When no one is looking turn the rag/cloth back open to reveal a nasty soaked patch so it looks like you have an oil leak from say the sump gasket.

But we all know that the oil was put there before hand to make it look like an oil leak,

Very naughty but not uncommon out there.

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BONNET RELEASE BROKEN TRICK

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Please never buy anything blind,

It has been known that some chancers have actually cut

Their own bonnet   release cables so that potential buyers can’t see the engine and VIN plate/Engine number.

PLEASE JUST WALK AWAY.

“We hope that this has made you think differently about

the whole used car buying experience but in a more Informed and not so one dimensional way.

We have tried to give you as much information that will help you and protect you at the same time.

Remember this should be an enjoyable experience not a chore, Relax Enjoy and have some Fun”

Some useful websites to check...

TAX CHECKER

https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax

MOT CHECKER

https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-status 

MOT HISTORY

https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history

INSURANCE CHECKER

https://ownvehicle.askmid.com/

TYRES REVIEWED

http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/

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