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How to buy a used car that won't let you down (and 2 surprising models to see first)

Don’t listen to your friend in the pub, for a start.

Image: Shutterstock/walterericsy

SADLY, BUYING A used car doesn’t bring a guarantee that it won’t break down at some point. Heck, even new cars can let you down soon into their working lives.

But there are some things that you can do to reduce the chances of your car letting you down. The first thing to consider is just how reliable the model you’re looking at tends to be. Doing so won’t give you a solid guarantee, but it’s an excellent place to start. One of the best places to do this isn’t your friend in the pub, but the Car Reliability Index.

One of the most reliable cars in the index is the Mitsubishi Lancer. Those of a particular generation will instantly think of winged rally homologation specials, but we’re looking at the less interesting standard saloon car here.

Source: DoneDeal

One of the reasons it scores so well is that aside from being generally reliable, the repair costs on average are quite low. This is one bit of research that you should carry out before buying.

If you want to ensure your latest used purchase is as reliable as possible, you could consider having it serviced when you get it. Doing so is especially worthwhile if you aren’t aware of the car’s previous service history. You may also want to include checking the battery and alternator to ensure they’re working optimally.

Another thing to consider that you’re buying the right car for what you’ll be using it for. If you’re only ever driving short distances around your local town or city, then you don’t need to get a diesel car. Buying a petrol car isn’t always easy, especially as some brands almost exclusively sold diesel engines when the motor taxation last changed. But owning a diesel could end up costing your more in both repairs and servicing and could prove less reliable if you’re not doing longer distances, resulting in DPF (diesel particulate filter) and turbocharger issues down the line.

Source: DoneDeal

Another consideration if you’re looking to get a car that should be reliable is to consider one with less moving parts – an electric vehicle. As the popularity of electric cars is beginning to rise slowly, there are more used models coming onto the market.

While these are often cars with shorter driving ranges in comparison to the latest ones, they are still suitable to some who don’t drive as frequently and aren’t as reliant on the public charging network. By far the most common model on sale is the Nissan Leaf.

Here are the top 10 cars for passing the NCT first time>

Looking for an SUV? Here are 4 underrated models on the second-hand market>

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About the author:

Dave Humphreys

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