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REVIEW of Money 07
On The Road Again - More Economical Motoring

This article is about motoring costs, in particular the major outlay when buying a car. Although more expensive, new automobiles are generally the safer bet and are covered by longer warranties. Not everyone, of course, can afford new; and those having to settle for a pre-owned vehicle are quite often buying someone else's trouble. The sensible way to go before parting with any hard-earned cash is to have the prospective purchase checked out by a mechanic. There are, however, a number of fairly simple points that can be seen at a glance that require no mechanical knowledge and will save an unsuspecting buyer ending up with a lemon.

Whether buying from a car-yard or a private seller, take a good look at the vehicle, both from a distance and up close. Does it seem to have been well cared for with bodywork and interior in reasonable condition for the age? The engine may have been recently steam-cleaned, which might indicate that it had simply got grubby over time; on the other hand, maybe there were tell-tale oil leaks that were too obvious. It pays to get down and dirty to have a poke around underneath and behind to see if they've started up again after the clean - any leaks at all are going to cost to fix.

The vehicle's history is important. What kind of a person has been driving it? Did they care enough to keep up-to-date service records? Which parts have been replaced? Is there any body-damage that might indicate that it has been in a crash; and was it repaired to required safety standards? Do the tyres appear to be in good condition, or is that another extra expense likely to come sooner rather than later?

The full article lists what to look for and some pertinent questions to ask of the seller before dipping into the wallet. There are also some handy regular checks that a driver can make to ensure their new used car remains on the road, and stays safe.

To read the complete article or download the PDF of Money 07 click here

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