Advice when buying a used car from a private vendor
Know the different car classifications before purchase
One of the tools available to buyers on the used car market, which will help ensure they get the best possible value for money, is a classification system that is applied in the resale of damaged used vehicles. The categories in the classification are intended to classify the amount of damage that a particular car has sustained and therefore the level of repairs that might be needed in order for it to be returned to a roadworthy condition.
Buying a car with more damage might be cheaper, but depending on the extent of the damage, there are likely to be more costs involved if extensive work is needed to return it to an acceptable standard. The classification categories, which are determined for insurance purposes, can help a used car buyer to make the decision on which purchase might be best in their own particular circumstances.
Categories A and B
The category system for used cars that have sustained damage runs from category A to category D, along with an additional category, category X. Category A indicates the highest level of damage and unless a buyer is interested in scrap or similar, this is one to be avoided. Category A means, in fact, that the whole car is in such a poor condition that the entire vehicle must be crushed and no resale is permitted.
Category B is only slightly better, because a category B used car is not permitted to be driven on the public highway. However, unlike a category A car, parts from a category B car may be sold separately.
Categories C, D, and X
The dividing line between category C and category D may be of the most interest to a used car buyer, because while category C cars can be repaired, the cost of the work is likely to be greater than the value of the car itself. However, a Category D car, although damaged, can probably be repaired for less than the likely dealer price of the vehicle.
This means that a category D car may be of potential interest to a buyer who is prepared to spend a certain amount of time and money on repairing the car - which may be the case if the model is an attractive one.
For normal purposes, however, category X, which indicates minor damage that can be relatively easily repaired, will be the most significant one for the majority of used car buyers.
Buy a used car with confidence
To eliminate doubt when buying a used car, look to purchase from a manufacturer accredited dealer. Unlike private vendors, or independent used car showrooms, an approved used car showroom has the backing and support from the car manufacturer themselves. Similar to a kitemark, this ensures that certain quality assurance checks are carried out, and high levels of service need to be met.
At Lookers, our Used Cars for sale in the UK are sold by approved used car dealerships, covering a full range of manufacturer brands. For more information on the various car brands and for the latest offers, contact your nearest used car showroom.