Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

When it comes to buying used cars we have an image in our minds or the typical car sales person, the wheeler and dealer who wants to take your money and hand over what is seemingly not the best buy for you or your family.

But while buying a used car doesn’t mean you won’t get a good deal or run into any problems we have a number of good tips for what to think about when your shopping around for your next family vehicle.

Vehicle Space and Comfort

When it comes to a family car you need to ask yourself;

  • How long do I expect to have the car, 1,3,5 years?
  • How many children do I expect to have in this period?

A common mistake of families is to purchase a car to withhold the current family and not where they may expect to be in two or three years’ time.  That’s your first choice will a five seat vehicle be fine or would an MPV or similar be more suitable. Next is having a look at what spaces you need, how do the seats fold, are there armrests? Will they fold? What’s also important is that family cars tend to receive more strain on the seating than other cars so when checking the seats look for wear and tear or potential parts which may need replacing soon.

Breakdown and Repair Costs

The older the vehicle the more chance that repairs will be needed, so ideally look for a vehicle that is no more than three years old, vehicles in this age range normally are less than half the price of the new car but will often still be inside the manufacturers warranty.  However if the vehicle is older than this then do a little bit of research about the cost of repairs, Online forums are always a good place to start your research.

Where should I Buy a Car from?

Firstly the age old choice of Car Dealers versus Individuals. The advantage of buying from non-trade is the price, however you need to be very cautious as there is no guarantee or contract obligations so if you’re thinking about making the purchase from an individual then pay for a mechanic to come with you, he should be able to carry out some checks to make sure the there is nothing out of the ordinary with the vehicle.

When it comes to Car dealers you can split them into two groups, Car Supermarkets and local dealers. Car supermarkets traditionally carry a larger price tag but you can be confident with the guarantees and warranties they provide. When it comes to local car dealers I recommend carrying out a little research into the company background, it’s been common for some car dealers to go to administration and then reset up. So take a little look into their company or ask them how long they have been running to gauge their validity.

General Car Checks

Make sure you carry out background checks on the vehicle and above all take the car for a test drive, if you’re unsure then walk away.

Jag Mann is a writer and family man who has worked with cars and Limousines for the past 25 years. He currently works at Finishing Touch Limousines based in Birmingham, UK. Having grown a family his aim is to provide some experience in car buying for families.