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Anyone who has bought a second hand car can attest that it’s not easy to ensure you get the right one. Many people are taken advantage of by the seller and can end up buying a vehicle that is not only over the market value, but it can end up costing them even more to maintain.

Last week, we spoke to car blogger Caroline Kidd and asked her what tips she had for people buying a used car. Caroline stressed the importance of giving the car a thorough test drive and conducting a history check before committing to any purchase.

This week we will be digging deeper into the buying process, from sourcing your dream second hand car, to making sure it won’t end up being a nightmare.


An image of a man driving a car. Buying a second hand car can be a stressful experience


Picking your Car:

Before you even begin to to shop around, decide on a make or model that will fit your needs while also being in line with your budget. Investigate how much general repairs and parts can cost your desired vehicle so you don’t end up massively out of pocket if something happens down the line. Find out as much information about the types of tax and insurance costs that you should expect with such a model.


Where to buy?: 

Once you’ve the type of car you want in mind, you now have to decide where to get it. There are usually three options for people who are buying a used car. These include a local garage, a car dealer or a private sale sourced from listings and ads on websites or magazines such as Auto Trader. Although reputable car dealers are usually the safest way to go, no matter where you purchase your car, you are still entitled to your rights under the Sale of goods and supply of services act, 1980.

If a car is bought at a car auction however, the auctioneer can’t be held responsible for any defects with the car once your bid has been accepted. Each auctioneer will have a set of terms and conditions before an auction has begun. Read these carefully and examine the car in question thoroughly before you begin to place your bid.

Being informed about general market prices of different models and their specs will safeguard you against any sellers who try to sell for over the odds. Take your time when browsing different options to find not just the car that suits best, but a seller that you feel you can trust.


An aerial view image of a car dealership. Many people will end up buying a used vehicle from a dealership


Mileage and Motor History: 

Mileage is one of the most important factors to consider when you’re buying a used car. Horror stories of “clocked” odometres are common in the market so be wary of mileage figures that seem to good to be true. Since July 2014, the NCT certificate also notes the mileage of a vehicle during each check up. Make sure that you view this and indeed all relevant papers associated with the car before purchasing.

You can also check the history of a vehicle on motor history sites such as Cartell.ie or motorcheck.ie. These sites charge a fee but will give you a great overview of the cars specific history i.e. number of owners, its general cost to run, how long similar models take to sell and the market price you should be paying for it.

For even more on exactly what you need to consider when buying a used car, check out this Citizens Information Guide.


An image of a cars speed dials and odometer. Knowing your cars driving history is essential when buying a new car.


Mechanic Check: 

Even after conducting your own research, speaking to friends and family and using a motor history website, it is also worth having an independent qualified mechanic you trust inspect the vehicle.

They will be able to spot things that may have previously been missed and let you know if future maintenance issues could be a problem. Once you have gotten their seal of approval, you should be able to purchase the vehicle without any reservations.



Once you’ve finally secured the car that you want, don’t waste any time in protecting it. Here at Blue Insurance, we have recently announced the return of our 2 year motor insurance policies. Make sure that you’re not worrying about renewal price hikes in 12 months time, by getting a quote today! You can also get a great value Home Insurance quote with us today too. For future news, offers and content follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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