Frequently Asked Questions
Buy a used car
This guide will aim to provide you with some advice and information you will need to make the right choices when buying a second-hand car. This advice is given to help you to buy a used car that is as safe and reliable as a new car - at a fraction of the price.
How do I decide what car to buy?
Before you begin searching for your car, be sure you know what car you want to buy and don't be tempted to make a spur of the moment purchase that you will later regret. Make sure you know the type of car you want and stick to it! Firstly, look at your surroundings, and choose a type of car that suits your needs - measure your garage/ work parking space and be sure the car you choose will fit. Also think of the rest of the family - children/ dogs, and chose a car that is practical and meets their needs too. Also think of your build and shape and make sure that the driver's seat is suitable for your needs, that the steering column adjusts and that you can see out clearly. Also, think carefully about your lifestyle and the job you want your car to do. Do you have any hobbies? i.e. will your car need to tow a caravan or make long journeys on difficult roads - maybe an MPV would suit? Or if your car is for shorter journeys in the city, maybe consider a small hatchback with power steering. Whatever your lifestyle, make sure you choose a car that meets it needs!
Before you begin searching for your car, be sure you know what car you want to buy and don't be tempted to make a spur of the moment purchase that you will later regret. Make sure you know the type of car you want and stick to it! Firstly, look at your surroundings, and choose a type of car that suits your needs - measure your garage/ work parking space and be sure the car you choose will fit.
Also think of the rest of the family - children/ dogs, and chose a car that is practical and meets their needs too. Also think of your build and shape and make sure that the driver's seat is suitable for your needs, that the steering column adjusts and that you can see out clearly. Also, think carefully about your lifestyle and the job you want your car to do.
Do you have any hobbies? i.e. will your car need to tow a caravan or make long journeys on difficult roads - maybe an MPV would suit? Or if your car is for shorter journeys in the city, maybe consider a small hatchback with power steering. Whatever your lifestyle, make sure you choose a car that meets it needs!
What do I need to do before I part exchange?
- Make sure you can find all of the paperwork, including the V5C registration document and current MOT certificate.
- Check the details on the paperwork are correct, and get them corrected if need be.
- Make sure your service history is up to date. If you have missing stamps or have lost the service book, speak to your garage about filling in the blanks. Your car will worth more if the history is intact.
- Find all the sets of keys, including central locking remotes.
- If the car needs any servicing or remedial work, investigate getting it carried out. However, it's possible this may cost more than the additional value your car will gain.
- Dealers are unlikely to be bothered by a dirty car but ensure that it isn't filthy or unhygienic
Can I get a valuation online?
What will I need to hand over with the car?
- The current registration document - V5 logbook.
- Current MOT certificate if applicable.
- Service history book and any invoices to support the servicing of the car.
- Spare keys, particularly the master keys.
Which vehicles are unlikely to be accepted in part exchange?
- American vehicles (what's it doing here anyway)
- Left hand drive
- Specialist vehicles
How to buy insurance
Why insure my car at ALL?
Motor Insurance is (legally) mandatory for all vehicle owners in the UK. The minimum cover required is 'Third Party Only' (which only covers any third parties in the event of an accident) for any vehicles in use; however any 'off the road' vehicles (ie: vintage cars kept off the road in private lock-ups/garages and NOT in use) are exempt from this rule - though owners may choose some cover, such as 'Fire and Theft Only'. There are two more types of Motor Insurance in addition to these two, the more commonly purchased policies : 'Third Party, Fire and Theft' and 'Comprehensive' - which offers the most protection; to the Insured, listed drivers and all potential third parties.
How do I go about getting my car insured?
There are more options for choosing and purchasing Motor Insurance now than ever before. The web has made Insurances of all types easier to search for, compare and acquire. Many web-based brokers also ask for just one application form, which they can then use as your proposal form; minimising the work involved for the consumer. Unfortunately, the presence of the web has also killed off many "high street" Insurance Brokers, especially the smaller, independent businesses, as more and more consumers opt for the convenience of shopping online. Before purchasing Motor Insurance, be aware of all your options. There may still be fully operational Brokers in your area; many consumers feel the benefits of such services once policies have been purchased; such as when/if they should make a claim, preferring the face-to-face service that a broker can offer, always missing when policies are purchased online. For impartial advice, see www.insurancexpert.co.uk. By contrast, you may find a cheaper policy online as several "direct" web-only insurers waive the brokers' fee to benefit the consumer. Make sure, however when purchasing Insurance as with anything, that you read the small print. Choose a long-established reputable company, and time permitting, shop around to compare prices (most High Street brokers will use a plethora of different Insurers and can therefore shop for the best price on your behalf, as well as selecting a policy suited to your own specific needs).
For Teletext Ltd's Insurance page, Click Here
How to buy finance
How do I decide where to buy my finance from?
Deciding on where to buy your finance from can often seem very complex, especially as there are so many options available to choose from. Although some people only think of their bank or the dealer for finance, shopping around for a number of quotes from other finance providers can often save you money. Teletext recommend that you compare at least three different options to ensure you secure a good deal - although do not be tempted to apply for a large number of loans as this will damage your credit rating. The most important considerations are that you can afford the monthly repayments and be sure that the repayment plan suits you before agreeing to the loan. When organising the loan for your car, always make sure you are aware of all additional charges and bear in mind that the longer the loan, the greater the total cost. However, opting for a four or five year deal may mean being able to buy a more expensive car, simply because the monthly payments are more manageable. Always ask about the following, before accepting the terms of your loan; the size of any final payment, any extra charges that may be added at the end of the agreement, early settlement charges, plus any added extra's such as payment protection insurance. Also remember to make sure that the rate you are being quoted is the APR, not a flat rate. Please refer to our list of financial terms to make sure you know exactly what you are being charged...
What do all those financial terms actually mean?
0% Finance: A finance agreement with no interest charges. If you take this finance option on a Â£10,000 car, you pay back Â£10,000.
APR: Annual Percentage Rate. A standard method of calculating how much the loan will cost you over the full period of the loan. The APR reflects the total charge for credit and is different to the flat rate. The lower the APR, the cheaper the loan.
Equity: The difference between the value of the car and what you owe on it.
Flat Rate: The monthly interest rate charged. Watch out for flat rates being quoted instead of APRs: the flat rate is not the true cost of the loan and it's usually around half the APR so it sounds cheaper.
Fixed rate: The interest rate charged and/or the monthly payments are fixed throughout the length of the agreement.
Negative Equity: When your car is worth less than your outstanding finance.
Secured Loan: The finance company can repossess the item being financed such as your house or car if you fail to pay the money owing.
Unsecured Loan: The finance company has no security against the loan. PCP: Personal Contract Purchase. A personal finance scheme which defers part of the payment for the car until the end of the loan, when the car is usually traded in. A deposit is usually required upfront, plus a final 'balloon' payment if you wish to own the car at the end of the finance agreement. There are also often additional fees such as an 'option to purchase fee' to be paid before the car is yours.
Residual value (or guaranteed minimum future value): Anticipated value of the car at the end of the finance agreement. Only applicable to PCPs.
Hire Purchase: With hire purchases, the finance provider owns the car, and the customer buys it over the agreed period. With HP, a deposit may be needed, and the finance is generally secured on the car itself. Again, there may be an additional fee to be paid before the car is yours.
Trade Value: What your car is worth in the trade. This will be lower than the retail value of your car as the trade has to allow for mark up on vehicles they sell.
How do I check my Credit Rating?
If you have no idea what your credit report shows, you can order a 3-bureau (TRW, Equifax, & TransUnion) credit report from CreditReporting.com. See what's in your report before you speak to any car dealer or financial institution. Many people don't know what's on their credit report, but bear in mind your perspective lenders may have already seen it. Be sure you are aware of what is written about you, and you have the control to correct any information on there that is not true.
What are the different ways in which I can borrow money?
Unsecured Loan: Buying a car outright with an unsecured personal loan can be a convenient way of making up your purchase. Unsecured loans are normally repayable on a monthly basis although you can now pay some on a weekly basis at a fixed rate of interest. They are not linked to any security, such as your property, hence the use of the term unsecured. The upshot of this is that the lender will have little option but to sue you to recover their money in the event that you fail to repay the loan in full. Remember to look at the rates closely as some car sales companies will make more out of the loan then they do from the car. This is why they try to pressurise you into taking their finance.
Hire Purchase: If you buy a car on hire purchase, you will only own the car after the majority of the credit has been repaid. There is one other thing to remember with hire purchases - you don't even have to buy the car outright. So long as you have paid at least 50%, you will be able to give the car back and you will owe nothing else.
Personal Lease: This is just a glorified term for renting a car. You will not have to worry about MOT's or repairs as this is all included in the lease agreement and at the end of the lease, you return the car. One important thing to look for is the amount of miles you are restricted to each year so make sure it is enough for your needs. If you go over the mileage you will be charged per mile, and this can be very expensive.
Part Exchange: If you have a car already, give it a good clean inside and out when you go to part exchange it. This makes a large difference to the price the dealer will give you. Most places will part exchange your old car against another vehicle. You are often best trying to sell your car privately first, as you will normally get more for it.
Searching for a vehicle
Why Are No Make Or Models Showing When I Try To Search For A Vehicle?
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Why Can't I Find A Certain Make Or Model When Searching For A Vehicle?
The vehicle make and model drop down menus lists every make and model that we may have stored in our database at any one time. If the make and model you are seeking results in an unsuccessful search, no vehicles that match the make and model you are seeking currently exist in our database. Try widening your search by changing the price, age & region or leaving some of the filters empty.
Why Do Some Searches Take Longer Than Others?
At peak operating periods, it may take longer to search our site due to the higher volume of traffic. Searches may also take longer depending on how many results a particular vehicle has. If a search does not complete within fifteen to twenty seconds, please submit the search again.
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- to provide you with information about the products and services we offer
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- to conduct market research
- to run competitions and promotions
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- to facilitate communications between yourself and others
As defined by the Data Protection Act 1998, we only keep 'sensitive data' for the explicit purpose of providing initial and renewal car insurance quotations.
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Teletextcars.co.uk is wholly owned by Teletext Ltd., which is registered under the 1998 Data Protection Act, ref Z6064260.