Whether you’re wanting to buy your first little runabout or you’ve got some experience of car buying and are looking at classic cars for sale , there are a few essential things that you really need to do in order to make sure that the car you buy is the right one for you.

Firstly, make sure that you give the car a really good test drive and that you are completely happy with not only the way that the car handles, but also that you are comfortable driving it. Check that when everything is adjusted for you, the driving position gives you a good clear view of everything around you and that you are happy and confident driving the car. Although this does sound very obvious it is one of the most important things. After all, you don’t want to end up with a car that you don’t enjoy driving or struggle to control. You’d be surprised how many people have regretted buying a car later because they didn’t spend long enough in the initial stages checking that they were happy driving it and that it suited their needs.

You need to not only make sure that you are happy with the way that the car drives though. You should also think carefully about whether it is actually suitable for any particular needs that you have too. For example, if you have young children, will a pushchair fit in the boot and does the child’s car seat fit properly? If you need a car with a good deal of storage space, does it offer this? Will the rear seats fold down to allow you to carry larger loads, for example?

Secondly, and we can’t stress this enough, take the time to check all of the paperwork thoroughly.

The paperwork you should insist on seeing includes the V5C registration document which will prove that the person selling the car is the named legal owner. You should also ask to view the service history as this will show how regularly the car has been maintained and whether major services have been carried out. If the car is overdue for a service then you should factor this in too and you may even be able to use this to haggle over the price as you will obviously have to have it serviced at your own expense once you have bought it. This is probably more applicable when buying privately rather than from a used car dealer as most reputable dealers will have the car serviced and checked prior to putting it on sale, but it’s still worth checking the service history carefully nonetheless.

You should also try to ensure that the handbook is present and that keycodes for any audio system or alarm system are provided, where possible, as this can save you a lot of hassle and possible expense at a future date. The same applies for the locking wheel nut remover socket or key, if the car has alloy wheels and a locking wheel nut fitted. The car should come with this and although it’s a small detail, again, it is one that will avoid a potentially costly trip to a dealership to get one at a later date.

Following these few basic pointers and applying a certain amount of common sense should help you make your way through the car buying process without ending up buying something that you will later regret.