As part of our ‘Ask an Expert’ video series, we asked three expert dealers to answer your most burning questions about buying a used car. Watch our video or read what they had to say, to make sure you’re not left floundering on the forecourt:
What is GAP Insurance?
Simon Palmer (Hendy Group): If you ask your dealer about Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) they will give you a full explanation. What it essentially does is, it will cover you for any potential insurance shortfall should your vehicle be written off.
What is paint protection?
Jason Pritchard (Wessex Garages): Paint protection is something that's applied after the vehicle's been completely valeted before delivery. The valeted team will actually apply a coating over the top of the paintwork of the vehicle which will protect it against things like acid rain and bird lime which can eat into paintwork. It'll also protect it against fading and things like grit in the winter months.
They'll protect the interior as well. That'll stop things like fluids, liquids penetrating in the seat fabrics and also the carpets of the vehicle.
What’s the difference between PCP and Hire Purchase?
Jonathan Allbones (The Car People): Hire purchase is basically a way of you being able to hire the vehicle from the finance company. So, the dealer sells the car to the finance company, the finance company charges you a fixed monthly payment over the period that you've agreed. At the end of that when you've paid all of that, the car then becomes yours.
The difference with PCP is that the finance company sets what's called a guaranteed minimum future in value. That is a price that they believe the car will be worth at the end of the loan. That is then put into a balloon payment which is your final payment.
The bit that you've got to be careful with is that PCP is a contract, in as far as you commit to an annual mileage. So if you do more than that annual mileage, then you'll get charged excess mileage fees. If you do less than that annual mileage, you'll be paying more in a monthly payment that you'll get benefit for.
What are the benefits of leasing a car?
Jonathan Allbones (The Car People): If you're not interested in ever owning the car (because you don't have the option to own a car), it's simply a payment to use the car, so that's quite a significant difference.
If that works for you leasing often costs less money each month, so it's down to the requirements of the individual.
What is an HPI check and do I need one?
Simon Palmer (Hendy Group): An HPI check is a provenance check. So the dealer should be HPI'ing every car that they offer for sale.
What it's doing is it's making sure that whatever car the dealer offers you as a customer is clear of finance, has no major damage recorded against it, and all the other checks such as mileage checks, that you would expect them to do for you.
What is typically covered in the warranty?
Jason Pritchard (Wessex Garages): On a used car warranty or a new car warranty, it tends to be things like non-perishable parts, like tyres and belts wouldn't be covered because they're classed as serviceable items. Most other things will be covered including electrics, so if the electric windows should fail for example, electric motors are covered.
Essentially anything that isn't classed as a serviceable item (would be covered), that would be changed under a regular angle service.