How to choose the right used car?

Every time, it’s the same question that arises when you have to find a new vehicle quickly… How not to get ripped off? Are there any tips to avoid the wrong purchase? Fortunately, yes. When it comes to opportunity, excessive caution always pays off.

vintage car

Let’s be honest about it. Today, it is still as difficult to buy a used car when you don’t have the necessary mechanical skills. As is the case with many people, mistrust must always be present when visiting a salesperson. Indeed, some do not hesitate to present you with a vehicle that looks normal but is in fact damaged, without of course having specified it. A problem that can be expensive for you because you will have to pay for the repairs.

What are the rules to know?

First of all, you should know that the warranty for a used car is always one year free. If a seller tells you that the car is on deposit and you have to pay 500 euros to get a guarantee, there is a problem. Then, concerning the vehicle, get as much information as you can… Certificate of conformity, maintenance logbook, number of previous owners, that’s for the administrative aspect.

On the technical side, check the wear and tear on the steering wheel to see if it corresponds to the number of kilometres you are told. Another rule to remember is that a vehicle that is more than ten years old is still an old vehicle, even if it has 20,000 kilometres on the meter, so be careful to keep your eyes open and check if everything you are shown corresponds to what you are told. Because you are told things… or not!

What about diesel?

Concerning diesel, there are no warnings about future bans, and the sellers immediately offer you diesel fuel, saying that if you drive a lot of kilometres, it is the best solution. Yes, but this argument was valid before… Here, with the bans and taxes related to the pollution caused by your vehicle, you have every interest in buying a recent gasoline.

Moreover, last year, it saw a peak in sales: more than 6% more than in 2016… Proof that opportunities with diesel are currently more ignored.

Buying a car properly: choose your model

City girls will criss-cross the city and road users will walk the road… everyone at home and the herd will be well guarded! Easy to say in the past, but our cars today have expanded their functions and multiplied their talents. New forms, new uses, it is sometimes difficult to identify the manufacturers’ proposals.


A car? A car? Yes, but which one….

There is a segmentation of the automotive market. Primarily based on congestion criteria, this method lists cars by category. For example, the so-called -B1- segment would include small urban cars, the M1 would include compact wagons and so on up to the H2 segment, stigmatizing high-end cars of all kinds. But rules can be exceptional, and it is not uncommon for a builder to arrange this scholarly and technical segmentation at his convenience. However, the logic remains on the individual’s side, who quickly realizes that a five-metre car will not suit a single person and that a sports coupé will be cursed by big families. However, mistrust: do not ignore a priori this or that car.

Many classic sedans are losing their footing against compact minivans or minivans. And it’s no wonder the proliferation of powerful diesel engines under tiny hoods, giving rise to strangely hybrid cars (a 206 HDi is just as comfortable in the city as it is on the highway). In the same way, it would be unfair to say that the price of a car increases according to the length of its bodywork: some cars of average size have prices much higher than those charged in the yard of large cars (an Audi A3 is often more expensive than a Peugeot 406). Conversely, when you measure your ambitions in terms of performance or finish, a minivan with a generous interior can be a great deal for small families (a Citroën Picasso 1.6 is cheaper than a simple Xsara sedan in high finish). In other words, nothing is more fallible than a certainty in this matter, and that everyone will have to compare and weigh the pros and cons in order to find a car at their feet.

First thing to do in the process of buying a used car: make a list of all the criteria that will determine your choice. In general, you indicate in your grid the budget, the type of car (example: sedan or station wagon), the choice of fuel (petrol or diesel), the number of kilometres of your future vehicle and the geographical area where you are ready to pick it up (near your home or throughout France). Colour and version can also be decisive for some: be aware that brightly coloured vehicles are often less easy to sell and more expensive to insure (statistically, red cars are the ones with the most accidents). It may seem obvious to draw up a sketch of your next car in this way. Obviously, you are not going to buy a convertible if you live in a rather rainy region and you do not plan to go on holiday. Although…: there are more convertibles in London than in any other European capital, including Rome and Madrid. But our advice is not as simplistic as it seems. Because, even after you have determined objective criteria, you may be influenced by subjective elements that will change your mind and perhaps make a mistake.

Examples: an advertisement, the testimony of a friend, the guile of a good salesman, an attractive credit, etc. Ultimately, and if you are convinced not to stick to your initial choice, you may be disappointed by your acquisition. So keep a cool head!