Tips for buying a family car

Life’s Journeys podcast - Episode two

Wouldn’t life be easier if you could take on your big decisions and milestones with the help of people who’ve already been there?

Our podcast, Life’s Journeys, brings together the experienced and the newbie; the expert and those looking for guidance for the important choices in life.

Episode two of the series we have motoring journalist Bob Flavin sitting down with mum of three from Greystones, Kate Gunn, to discuss buying a family car. Kate is looking to buy a used car that would be practical and reliable for the school runs, while getting the best value for her budget. Bobs offered his expert opinion to help her on her car buying journey.

Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Here are five valuable tips Bob had to share:

  1. Choosing to buy from a dealership or from an individual
    Bob weighs up the pros and cons of buying from an individual car seller rather than a dealership, explaining that the warranty on a car bought in a dealership tends to be much better. Buying from a dealership allows you more rights under the Consumer Goods Act, meaning you have more security around your purchase. Buying from a private seller means less protection under the law.

    If you’re buying from an individual, it’s important you have an in-depth knowledge of exactly what you’re looking for before purchasing. It’s a good idea to take a mechanic with you, so you can be confident the car won’t cause you trouble down the line.
  2. Check the history before buying
    One of the most important things to investigate before buying a used car is its history, beginning with the previous owners. Bob says to be wary of the number of previous owners a car has. A car with a large number of previous owners suggests that something might be wrong with car in order for them to sell it.

    Mileage is an important question to ask about before purchasing a car, but the number alone won’t tell the full story. If the car’s mileage is high, Bob recommends that the service history is checked thoroughly. Ideally, this should give you a detailed record and have no blank spots. If the dealer cannot offer you a car’s service history, this is a major red flag and you shouldn’t consider buying the car.

    Check out our article on what to consider when buying a used car to ensure you’re covering all bases.
  3. Colours can affect resale value
    In order to get the best resale value on your car in the future, Bob advises staying away from unusual colours that will appeal to a smaller number of people. If you’re looking to get the best price when selling your car find out how to maximise your cars resale value.
  4. Saving fuel while driving
    On fuel economy, Bob says it comes down to the way you drive, the weight of your car and your tyre condition. Accelerating often, and braking hard, will cause you to burn more fuel than normal. Low tyre pressure will also use more fuel so make sure you check this regularly. Saving fuel will not only positively impact the environment, but your wallet too! Check out our fuel saving tips and get on track to drive more sustainably for less.

    Additionally, the heavier your car is, the more fuel you’ll use up. Bob advises against storing unnecessary items in your car and doing a spring clean to ensure you’re carrying only the essentials. There are really only 15 essentials you need to keep in your car, just in case.
  5. Be aware of common pitfalls
    When buying a family car, one of the biggest areas that people trip up on is not having their car properly serviced. By having the car thoroughly checked, you’re reducing the odds of being blindsided by a problem that may arise a few months down the road and have you regretting your decision.

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