Buying a used car can be a great experience; there are some fantastic bargains out there to be found and some genuinely nice and honest sellers all over the world. Unfortunately, there are also many dishonest sellers that are out to make a quick buck, disguising old or unsafe vehicles as something else. In this short guide, we’ll be looking at some common mistakes people make when buying used cars, and how to avoid them. Comparing Finance Offers Going straight to the car dealership to request a car on finance is a big mistake. A much better idea is to check with you bank beforehand to see if you can get a better offer; if so, you are armed with this when heeding to the dealership and may be able to use it to land yourself a better deal and a lower rate on finance. Remember, even if the dealer were to offer you a seemingly good deal on finance, you’ll have no idea if you could have gotten a better rate from your bank, or even from the same dealer after having them offer an even lower rate. Proper Test Driving You may be surprised just how many people fail to test drive a car before buying it from a dealership. Many people seem to have the “I’ve driven a minivan hundreds of times before, I know just how they drive” attitude, and unfortunately this can often lead to the purchase of a below-par quality vehicle. Be sure to properly test drive the vehicle, taking note of how responsive the brakes and steering are in particular. Checking Safety Rating and Fuel Economy One thing that seldom comes to mind for many people when buying a new car is checking the vehicle’s safety rating. Although this may not be on the top of your list of things to research, it’s certainly one of the most important; driving a car with a 3 star safety rating instead of a car with a 5 star safety rating more than triples your chance of injury if involved in a collision. Similarly, fuel economy is also something worth checking out before heading to the dealership. One thing salesmen love to talk about is how great a car is on fuel economy, even when this simply isn’t the case. Be sure to carry out all of your own research before heading to the dealership, it could save you money, and your life! You can find extra information on this on safecar.gov, iihs.org, and fueleconomy.gov. Buying into Incentives Dealerships are great at coming up with new and attractive incentives to buy a car on the day, none of which are worth the extra you’re paying for an overpriced vehicle. Be it 0% finance for a set period or a free car washes and valets for years. The fact is, very few incentives ever really expire on the day you’re in the showroom; you could quite easily come back a week later and be offered the exact same incentives that just happen to be running out on that day too! Never feel pressured to buy on the day, always take time to think a sale over and consider if purchasing the vehicle is what’s best for you. So there we have a short and simple rundown of top car-buying tips. Be sure to keep an eye on every detail of a dealership’s offer, and never rush into a deal! If you need a motoring solicitor, look here.