As part of our ‘Ask an Expert’ video series, we interviewed Jason Pritchard from Wessex Garages. Watch the video or read below for Jason’s top tips on what to do when buying a car:

What are your best tips for buying a car?

I’m Jason Pritchard, I work for Wessex Garages who are a dealer group based in South Wales and the West, based across six sites and represent six different manufacturers.

The best advice I could give anybody who was buying a new or used vehicle would just be do plenty of research. The internet’s a fabulous place to find out things like models, variants, pricing structures, value for part exchanges, so yeah, research, research, research!

Which areas of the vehicle should I inspect before buying?

I would take a good look of the exterior of the vehicle, body panels and look for things like the lines between the panels to see if any are wide at the edge which might indicate accident damage.

Look at colour variants around the bodywork, because again they may indicate that the car’s had some kind of accident damage. Spend a lot of time looking at the interior, making sure there’s no sort of rips, burn marks, tears because they could be costly to have put right.

When should I walk away from a deal?

If it’s simply because you’re unhappy with the part exchange value or you’re not quite happy with the monthly payment for example, be open and honest with the salesperson that you’re dealing with because they might well be something they can do to create a happy medium.

How easy is it to take a car for a test drive?

We encourage and actively encourage all customers to drive vehicles. Essentially it’s going to be probably the second biggest purchase you’re going to make after your house and we’d expect everybody to drive the vehicle to make sure they’re completely happy with the car they’re interested in purchasing.

We make it as easy as we can for all vehicles to be driven and we encourage customers to drive as many vehicles as they’re interested in. We do encourage sales people to go out with customers because obviously they can help customers to understand the controls of the cars.

The car doesn’t meet my expectations – what do I do now?

We’d encourage you to contact us immediately. At our particular dealership we do offer a 30 day thousand mile money back guarantee on all vehicles. But what we would endeavour to do is make sure we find the right vehicle for you throughout the buying process to make sure when you do take the vehicle away, you are happy with your purchase.