Despite Labour's recently announced ‘Scrappage Scheme', in which car owners can get a discount on a brand new vehicle due to contributions from the seller and the government itself, many UK motorists are still eager to purchase a second-hand vehicle. However, the process of buying and owning a second-hand car is renowned for its pitfalls and difficulties, so how can you be sure paying less now will be worth it in the long run. Here are my top 4 things to remember when buying a second hand vehicle.

Web Research

Researching online does not stop at searching for the perfect wheels, however this is becoming even more efficient as we are now able to browse by manufacturer, cost, size - as well as information that details how much value your vehicle is likely to lose over time. Additionally, it is now easier than ever before to compare prospective car insurance prices via comparison websites, before you hand over your cash.

AA check

After you have found a vehicle you like, there are extra tools online that can help you confirm whether the car has had a shady past or not. The car data checks at will provide you with a background history of a vehicle: including whether any finance agreements have been recorded, whether the car has been written off, registration details and past owners, vehicle identification number and a mileage check. They charge £20 for a single vehicle and £25 for up to five.

Consider running costs

Aside from the cost of the vehicle and its insurance, be sure to consider running costs such as tax and petrol consumption. In the wake of the credit crunch, finance assistance such as personal loans and ‘higher purchase deals' via the dealership may well be harder to acquire as lenders are now more stringent when it comes to credit checks etc. Work out a budget that relates to all the aforementioned costs of your new vehicle.

Take someone along with you

Additionally, one way you can be sure that you are getting the best price is to be confident when it comes to negotiating a price with the seller. If you don't relish the challenge of haggling, take someone along with you who does. Having a friend with you is also good for a second opinion and better still if they have some expertise when it comes to second-hand cars too.