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How to buy the perfect car without breaking the bank

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Want a car but can't afford one? We might be able to help.

With summer approaching it's the perfect time to look into buying a car. Whether you want more freedom, you want to spend the summer doing road trips or you just can't bear the thought of spending all your money on public transport, there's nothing quite like a car to start your summer.

That being said, we're not made of money and cars can be very expensive. Freedom and road trips sound great, but the price tag that typically comes with a car is less so. At least, that's what we thought.

Gumtree, the fastest growing car site in the UK, decided to prove just how inexpensive a car could be. As such, they have revealed the top ten vehicles listed on Gumtree for under £1k, in the hope of helping those looking to purchase their first set of wheels without the new car price-tag. Now you can save on summer road trips and splash out on the destination instead!

Topping the list of bargain buys, Ford Focus has come out as the number one brand with more than thirty thousand Gumtree vehicle listings, closely followed by Vauxhall Corsa (28,300) and Vauxhall Astra (25,236). Helping to get you on the road without breaking the bank, Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio have also made the top ten, perfect for a summer road trip as colleges and universities break up for the term. Ultimately, Ford dominates Gumtree’s top ten list with three different cars, followed by Vauxhall and Renault with two entries each.

Here are the top ten vehicles listed on Gumtree for under £1k:  

 
Model
2018 listings under £1k
Ford Focus
30,216
Vauxhall Corsa
28,300
Vauxhall Astra
25,236
Ford Fiesta
22,127
Renault Clio
20,023
Peugeot 206
17,806
Volkswagen Golf
17,348
Ford Ka
12,386
Renault Megane
12,101
Nissan Micra
12,061
 

However, not being able to afford a car is not the only problem. For any first-time vehicle owner, buying a car can be a bit daunting at the best of times. This might turn people off purchasing a car, or make the experience incredibly stressful.

As Gumtree has plenty of reliable pre-loved vehicles listed, Gumtree Head of Motors, Vik Barodia has shared his top tips for how to pick a top runner, making your job a thousand times easier! Read his tips below:

 

1. Less is more

Your first car should inspire confidence, be safe and easy to drive – and be relatively cheap. If your budget is £1k and under, it’s not about the specs or fancy toys. As a rule with any vehicle purchase, always look for the lowest mileage and fewest owners to get the best car you can afford.

2. History is everything

Make sure to request a full-service history when looking to purchase any vehicle. Take careful note of how the car has been cared for and make sure the vehicle is up to date with oil changes, brakes and general maintenance so your new car is in the best condition it can possibly be.

3. Do your due diligence

Buying a car is exciting. But it can also be stressful. To help you avoid getting your fingers burned, always do a full provenance (history) check on the car. It will tell you if the car has been stolen or involved in a serious accident. The national mileage register result on the history check will also give you clues as to whether the car has been clocked (mileage tampered with).

4. Try before you buy

Perform some routine maintenance checks on the vehicle. Get in the driver’s seat, and see if all the car features work, such as electric windows, air conditioning and windscreen wipers. Walk around the car and look for mismatched paint and rust that could be a sign of damaged bodywork. Check the tyres for grip and lift the bonnet to inspect the oil level in the engine. Be sure to look under the car for any leaks - this would signify oil leaks from the engine or transmission which are expensive to fix.

5. Knowledge in numbers

If possible, take someone who knows what they are looking for when going to inspect the car. Alternatively, get a pre-purchase inspection done for that added peace of mind and confidence. It’s also important to check the sellers' credentials – ask to see their driving licence with an address that matches a utility and the V5 document for the car.

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