Many parents buy, or make a substantial contribution toward, their child’s first car. It’s easy to get swept up in your daughter or son’s excitement and enthusiasm and be persuaded into buying something they’ve seen online or that one of their friends is selling. Buying a car for a young person needs special consideration. Will they be able to afford the cost of any repairs? Will they be able to afford to run it? And most importantly will they be able to afford the cost of the insurance? Drivers between the age of seventeen and nineteen are paying an average of over £2000, which in many cases may be more than the value of the car. So, you want a second-hand car, which is safe, affordable, and reliable, these tips should help you achieve that purchase.
Take your time to ensure that all the paperwork is in place and that all the details match the vehicle in front of you. A vehicle handbook should be supplied, although if it has gone missing you should be able to track one down online without too much trouble. Ideally there should be a full service and repair history, although an absence of service records or gaps in the record may not necessarily be a sign that you should walk away, it may just be down to carelessness on the part of the owner. The VC5 registration document is essential; check that the person named in the document matches the identity of the vendor and that the vehicle details match the car in front of you. If the car is more than three years old, it must have a valid MOT certificate. If the vehicle does not have a current MOT certificate it is the vendor’s responsibility to acquire one, not yours. Two copies of a receipt of purchase, signed by both parties and detailing the vehicle make, model and registration, mileage and price should be produced as confirmation of the sale.
The MOT is an annual test and therefore the ideal situation is to purchase a car that has just passed its MOT. If the MOT certificate is valid but only has a short while to run you need to be aware that an older car may require substantial work, particularly if the emissions exceed legal limits, and that you may find yourself having to pay a significant amount of money to keep the car on the road. The MOT document lists work carried out in order for the vehicle to pass the test as well as a list of advisory work, which will require attention in the future. The MOT status and history of any UK vehicle can also be checked online.
Insurance and Road Tax
The vehicle must be taxed and insured in the new owner’s name before it can be driven away. It’s best to shop around for car insurance if you want a good deal, as 50% of seventeen to twenty-four-year olds could save up to £260 on their insurance.
Did you know that sites like eBay don’t have purchase protection for cars that are sold through the site? Be sure that you can trust the private seller and take a mechanic or someone who knows about cars along with you so that they can check the vehicle over.