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If you have a strict budget in mind when you’re looking for your next car, or you want a car with a bit of history, you might find that a used car is the best option for you. Before you drive it home though, you will have to do a bit more research so you know for sure that you’re getting the best possible deal.

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General Tips For Buying A Car

When you head to a dealership to find your next car, try to go in the day, so you can see the car more clearly. You can discover more about the cars exterior and interior design and identify any major scratches or dents it may have. Try to have an idea of what type of car you're looking for, whether that is a small car, SUV or MPV because this can make it easier and quicker to narrow down your choice. Used cars are generally shown outside, so you may also find that browsing in clear weather helps you find the perfect car for you.

What To Check On A Used Car

You know what you’re buying with a new car and there should be no surprises with a used vehicle, so we have recommended the below areas to check when purchasing a used vehicle.


C4 Cactus Exterior

Firstly, check the exterior for any damage. There may be light scuffs or scratches, but that is to be expected from a pre-owned car. If you see more serious marks or gaps between the panels, this could be from an accident, or less than stellar repair work, and therefore should be a cause of concern. 


Citroen Tyres

As well as the body of the car, make sure you give the tyres some proper attention. Damaged, worn-down or dodgy tyres could cause trouble later on, and be expensive to repair.


You can check the tread of a tyre really easily, by using a 20 pence coin. Just insert the coin into the tyre’s grooves, and if the outer band of the coin is covered, then the tyre is fine. If not, the car has a problem with not only its tyres, but suspension too.


Citroen Engine

You’ll also need to check the engine, if you're not sure what to look for, bring someone along who can help - a second pair of eyes will never hurt.


With the engine, make sure that you thoroughly check the oil, water and electrics. Make sure the engine sounds clear - you don’t want any whining or juddering. Have a friend check the exhaust pipe as you turn the engine on to check there is no black smoke or other substances coming out of it. 


Of course a used car will have a few miles on the clock, that much is a given. You should be certain that the miles match the age of the car. As a guide, the older the car is, the more miles it usually has. It’s quite easy to work out the mileage; on average, a car does around 10,000 miles a year. So, if you’re buying a car that’s five years old, it is expected to have 50,000 miles on the clock. However every driver is different and some drivers may drive more or less than the average in their car so it is always best to check the documents and overall condition of the used car as well as the mileage.

Test Drive

Just like you would with a new car, always take a used car out on a test drive before you buy. It’s the best way to get a good feel for it. As it will have a few miles on the clock pay special attention to the clutch. If it has a high biting point, or is particularly noisy, then it might indicate that the car will need repairs soon. Also check the brakes to make sure that they don't pull the car to one side and also check that the handbrake locks the car in position on a steep incline.
Citroen C1
Citroen Used Cars

Safety and your used car

When you find a used car you love, make sure you ask for (and thoroughly check) all the paperwork. This includes MOTs and the V5C registration document. Be certain the documents are all legit by checking for a watermark, and that the data matches the car.

Research The Vehicles History

The used car that you buy is going to be an important part of your life, so you can never do too much background research. You can look more into the history of any vehicle on the DVLA’s website, by putting in the registration plate details. You can find the first date of registration, fuel type, year of manufacture and CO2 emissions, and more information surrounding MOT and tax.

If you choose a used car from the Citroën Select Approved Used scheme it is ensured that the vehicle has a genuine history, a clean bill of health and has no hidden problems thanks to a full HPI check and an independent validation by Trading Standards approved agencies.
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Used Car Dealership

Citroen Dealership

When buying a used car from a dealership you should get a higher level of service and rigorous safety checks on the vehicle which could save you money in the future. Before you go to a dealership, make sure that it’s part of the Retail Motor Industry Federation, or a similar body.


Head to your local Citroën dealership to select your next used car, so you can benefit from the Citroën Select Approved Used Vehicle scheme. At Citroën, we ensure that when you buy a used car from our dealerships, it will have a clean bill of health and solid history. You can also benefit from an extensive 112 point pre-delivery inspection, a 12 month Citroën warranty and breakdown service, history of ownership check, MOT test cover and much more.

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