Wheels Near U - Cars For Sale

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Your Postcode: SA44 4XJ(Change)

Used Car Buying: Phoning the Seller

Phoning up the seller of a car is the next step after shortlisting a few vehicles. Sellers are under no obligation to provide a car or vehicles history, proof of previous checks or any other information about the car/vehicle.

So to help you get the most out of a phone conversation we have written a short list of questions that might help you find out more about the vehicle you might be buying! Its often good to write out the questions you would like to ask the seller before you make the call, this will help you get all the information you wanted from the phonecall.

Essential Questions
  • Ask the seller to tell you a bit about the car, often trade sellers will do this without prompting! This will often give you an idea of whether its a car or vehicle you would be interested in.
  • For how long have they owned the car/vehicle? How many previous owners? - A car owned from new can be a good find, but equally a car thats had 3 careful owners could be a gem. It would depend on the seller which applies.
  • What is the reason for the sale? - Most sellers will have a fairly good reason for selling, but it might reveal the bad points of the car, such as high insurance groups or potential future problems.
  • Is it thier car? Do they still owe any money on it - e.g. Hire purchase agreement or similar finance. People do ocassionaly sell cars for other people but its usualy best to deal with the owner.
  • Features of the car - in a similar vein to asking the seller to tell you a bit about the car, here you can ask things such as 'how many miles has it done?', 'mostly city or motorway miles?' and other questions about features and its condition like Alloy Wheels, Air Conditioning, Interior wear and tear, Tyres etc.
  • Tax and MOT - When do they expire? a short MOT can mean costly testing to get it through and no tax means you need to tax it prior to driving it.
  • Paperwork - Does the driver have any service history, proof of checks (HPI, service checks), bills for recent work and old MOTs can help build a picture of the cars history and the extent its been repaired. MOTs are a good way to check for genuine mileage. Also ensure they have the V5 (log book)
  • Has the car/vehicle been in any accidents, any accident damage/repairs? What was damaged if so, who repaired it and when? Are the works guaranteed - this also applies to refurbished engines and all major works to a car/vehicle.
  • Short term history - whats recently been replaced/repaired? Anything added to the car/vehicle - modifications of any sort? Modifications can be great and improve a car/vehicle but they can also up insurance premiums or void a policy if they are not disclosed to your insurance broker.
  • When is it available to view? - if your interested try and work out a time to go and view/test drive the vehicle. Rainy days are not ideal as scraths and dirt are not visible on paintwork, but whatever the weather - try to look objectively past the situation. Summer may make you want a convertable that has a broken roof - but it might rain on the way home!
  • Where is it available to view - Its also good if you can get an address including a post code - so if you do arrange to view it you can find it easily.
  • Prices - Ask what its for sale at rather than saying 'youve seen its going for £x'. This way the seller may give you a different price depending on where youve seen it and how long its been advertised for. Also ask if they are open to reasonable offers - test the water to see how much they are willing to move on the price.
Things to avoid/be wary of
  • Avoid coming to a deal over the phone - even if your sure this is the car/vehicle you want you should always test drive/view it first.
  • Phone numbers - Hidden phone numbers and only mobiles may be fine, but its good to use a landline where possible.
  • Meeting Places - Meeting the seller somewhere other than thier home can hint at something negative. A real seller should not have a problem with selling from thier home. Also beware of people selling cars from someone elses home - it's a good piece of mind if you have to knock on the door and they are not already standing in the drive or sitting in the car waiting.
In the end if you are still wary about a seller its better to get the car/vehicle checked out by a professional. Full car inspections by a reputed garage and HPI checks are recommended for the situations which seem too good to be true or dodgy.
    If you can think of any we have missed anything then please contact us and let us know!