Drive a bargain with our expert's advice on buying a second-hand car

THE NEW normal, means a used car, it seems, with cash tight and second-hand cars now seen as more viable.

According to one recent survey, there has been a 50 per cent increase in searches for a used motor.

But to make sure you get a bargain and not a banger, I asked Chris Barella, of motor specialists Euro Car Parts, for tips to drive down spending. 

CHECK THE MOT: Chris says: “If a vehicle has very little MOT time remaining, there’s a good chance the seller knows it won’t pass without expensive repairs.”

My tip: If the car has a longer MOT on it, you can be more confident, knowing that it shouldn’t have any major problems. The MOT Covid break ends today so there are plenty of offers out there. For me, the cheapest option is always my local council MOT centre.

CHECK ITS HISTORY: Chris says: “A car that hasn’t got a full history of servicing is likely to have developed additional wear and tear.”

My tip: When checking the service history, see if there have been any recurring problems as well as checking how regularly the car has been serviced. Dealers can usually provide service history of a car if it was maintained there.

CHECK THE ADVERT: Chris says: “If you turn up and view a car covered in scratches that was described as “perfect condition” then you are within your rights to ask for a discount. Checking the specification against what was advertised is just as important.”

My tip: Compare prices with similar cars you’ve looked at. I like Remember: Haggling pays and ask for a discount if the car is different to what’s been advertised.

TAKE IT FOR A SPIN: Chris says: “A proper test drive should take at least an hour. Knocking and banging could signify any number of problems and unnatural movements during acceleration or braking should be cause to walk away from a vehicle.”

My tip: If you’re not very familiar with cars, I’d suggest taking a friend with you who knows what to look for.

Deal of day

GET your motor road ready with a FREE ten-point car check at Halfords, usually £15. It will take around 30 minutes, then you will be fit to hit the road. Book yours at

SAVE: £15

Cheap treat

THESE Milkybar White Chocolate Ice Creams are delicious, grab a box of six from Sainsbury’s for £2, down from £3.

SAVE: £1

Top swap

FIVE litres of ready-to-use screenwash at Tesco, will set you back £4, but if you head to Wilko you can grab it, for £2.

SAVE: £2

My Sun Savers fiver

PAULINE BROWN, from Irthlingborough, Northants, says: “I’ve saved my Sun Savers fivers up to treat my husband to a nice meal as he has been shielding since February and will be allowed out from today.”

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Giselle's little helper

PLANS to go to Spain scuppered?

Fancy making the most of what the UK has to offer instead? Well eBay has you covered. Get ten per cent off all things staycation here until midnight tonight. Use code PACKUP10 at the checkout.

  • ALL prices on page correct at time of going to press. Deals, offers subject to availability.

Shop & save

NEW Peperami Smokin’ Chicken Bites are at Tesco for £1, they’re rather tasty.


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