Patience Pays When Buying a Used Car

Recently a family member had been looking to buy his first car. He had from between £500 - £800 to spend. He wanted something that was cheap to buy and cheap to insure and he wasn't too concerned about what the car looked like, just as long as it was a good reliable first car. With me being more experienced in car buying than he is, old muggins here was given the job of helping him find a car, and of course that also means going with him to check the car over and offer him a few tips on what to look out for when buying the car.

First things first, he asked me what type of car I would get if I had £500 - £800 to spend and wanted something reliable. Just like I recommend to everyone else in the Best cheap used cars list for new drivers post, it has to be one of the older model Japanese cars.

A Toyota Yaris, Toyota Starlet, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, or a Nissan Micra. When he had a look at the Nissan Micra (Older model) on Autotrader he laughed but made his mind up that that was the kind of car he wanted for his first car. So then the searching began. Everyday he would look on Autotrader for a decent Nissan Micra. A few came up here and there that were suitable.

He phoned them up with a set of questions to ask the seller, but for one reason or another it just wasn't to be. It was either there was more to the Advert, you know the types, where the Ad sounds great but when you actually ring the seller up some of their answers just raise alarm bells like "Yeah mate the cars not registered to me and if you want to come and have a look at it it's permanently parked on the Bell Inn Pub car park".

Or there is damage to the car that can't be seen in the Advert pictures etc. With there being so many Nissan Micra's coming up for sale each week it's not worth the time, money and effort to waste time dealing with one that sounds a little suspicious. A few weeks of looking turned in a month of searching.

Then out of nowhere a really nice low mileage silver Micra 1.0L with full service history and only 40k miles came up for sale Autotrader which was within budget. Sadly it wasn't to be. The car went on Autotrader on the night of a week day and by the time we called, which was the next day in the morning, we were informed by the seller that there was already a sharp eyed buyer down there with him looking at the car. This was at 9am. The person bought the car.

I don't blame him as it was a genuine car with low miles for it's age being sold by an older gentleman that had really looked after it. My family member was quite disappointed that this car was sold so fast. But I told him to be patient and that something else would come along. But I think he was starting to lose hope because he hasn't driven since passing his test and is now at the stage where he wants to just buy a car and get out on the road driving and gaining experience.

A few weeks of looking later and would you believe it, a second Nissan Micra 1.0L, this time an even better one. If you could find the perfect used Nissan Micra for sale this had to be as close as you were going to get. You know the story that some, not all, trade sellers use when they want to attract some interest. They say "Car was owned by a little old lady and has hardly been used in recent years". Well, most of us know that's usually a lie just to pull in unsuspecting buyers, but this Micra that came up for sale really was owned by an 80 year old woman who had given up driving due to her age. This Micra is a 2001 model which had a little more than 9.4K miles on the clock when it was bought.

Amazing, it really has hardly been used. And to top it off the service history was absolutely unbelievable. It had been serviced every 400 - 500 miles (Last serviced at 8,950 miles) and it had a full MOT, with 4 brand new tyres being put on the car at the same time the MOT was carried out. The car is also in almost pristine condition inside and out.

Needless to say, we didn't want to miss out on this car like we did on the last one (Also a silver Micra) so we went down there straight away, checked through all the paperwork and gave the car a good check over and test drive. Everything was perfect, so the seller got the £800 that she asked for. A great bargain for a car that has barely even been broken in. 

The moral of this story is don't get desperate. Don't just buy any old car because your getting impatient. Hold out, keep looking and something nice will come along eventually. My family member has ended up with a great first car. His patience has paid off. I almost feel sorry for the car with it being in such an unused condition and now having to take the upcoming abuse that a new driver is going to put it through!.

A word of warning: If you do an insurance quote online for the car you're going to view, and possibly buy it would be better and cheaper for you to complete the buying of your car insurance, if / when you buy the car on a Smart phone with Internet access. This way all your information is already saved and all you have to do is use your phone to accept the quote and pay by entering your card details and the insurance is then valid, so you can drive the car away (Don't forger to tax the car also).

If you do your insurance quote online and then take the quote reference number with you so that you can phone up the insurance company and give them the reference in order to buy the car insurance they will have to go through every single detail with you again which can be costly when using a mobile phone.

My family member had £15 phone credit for this phone call and it still wasn't enough. He got cut off due to the credit running out, but luckily the insurance company (Go Skippy) phoned him back. If you have a phone contract that has the Internet included (3G or 4G) save the quote and then just retrieve it once you have bought the car and buy the insurance from your phone.


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