The truth is that buying a used 4x4 isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. Once upon a time you had to chip away the rust and mud to see what was underneath.
These days the majority of 4x4s are actually SUVs. That stands for Sports Utility Vehicle, a dreadful term, but these are essentially family friendly estate cars but with a higher seating position.
Firstly, do you need an SUV? If your priority is maximum economy, easy parking and low running costs, then perhaps you should consider something else. If off-roading is on the requirements, many don't realise that four wheel drive is now an option with many SUVs. If not, front wheel drive models should be perfect to suit everyday driving. Don’t buy a second hand car that you don't need!
If the answer is yes and you still want an SUV, then take it for a test drive. You will know whether you love or hate it. Ideally take it home. Does it fit on the drive, or in your parking space? For many, it may be enough that your SUV turns your neighbours' heads.
Overall, you must treat buying an SUV just like you would a family hatchback. The used car you buy should ideally have a full service history that relates to the vehicle. Check the paperwork carefully.
Look inside carefully and make sure it is clean, tidy and undamaged.
Remember this SUV has probably been used as a family car. The rear seats in particular may be marked or badly worn. There is no reason to buy a scruffy SUV unless the price is low.
As with every model of used car, ensure that you always buy on condition and not price.
On the outside.
Not everyone is very good at parking large vehicles. Look closely at the body panels and bumpers. Broken plastic and uneven metalwork always cost a lot to repair.
Don't forget to check the tyres.
Some owners buy cheap rubber which is substandard, on the grounds of economy. If you do not recognise the tyre brand, or there are a mixture of makes and types of tread then the SUV has not been well cared for.
Like buying any type of car, when buying a 4x4, always do your research and make sure it fits in with your future plans.
Even with the most stringent testing buying a used car can be nerve wracking. If you'd like a second opinion call us and we can arrange a health check at an approved garage local to you. For even more motoring peace of mind get a quote for an extended car warranty to protect you against used car repair costs.