The BMW-built Mini is a popular small car that people have bought since its introduction in 2001. It’s sold not just in the UK but in Europe, the USA and other parts of the world.
It’s a popular car because it’s small, fun to drive and loaded with modern technology. And, as you would expect from a BMW-built car, it’s tough and reliable.
Many people opt for used models over brand new ones for price reasons. Given that people are cautious about spending money these days, this makes perfect sense.
Are you planning on buying a used Mini soon? If you are, stop right there! Before you hand over your hard-earned cash to anyone, make sure you read this handy buyer’s guide first!
How much can you spend on a used Mini?
It’s a sad statistic that some motorists in this world buy cars without thinking of the cost implications first! I’m not saying that the Mini will cost you a small fortune to buy and maintain. But what I am saying is that you need to ensure that you can afford to buy one first.
That piece of advice doesn’t just apply to the Mini. It applies to any car you buy. After houses, cars are the second-biggest things that you will ever buy in your life.
Before you head over to http://www.coopermini.co.uk/ do the following first:
Calculate your finances. Make a list of your typical monthly expenses, and subtract that amount for your monthly income. The amount you have left over is what you can put towards buying and running a used Mini;
Decide how you want to pay for the car. Cash is by far the best way to pay for a car. But most people don’t have the money spare to pay for a car outright. In those cases, calculate how much a finance plan would cost (more on this in a moment);
Estimate monthly running expenses. You will have to pay for MOT, servicing, insurance and fuel costs. Determine how much this will set you back each month.
In comparison with most other cars, the Mini usually offers low running costs and won’t cost you a fortune to buy. With the money you can afford to spend, buy as new a Mini as possible. It’s no secret that the older a car gets, the higher the maintenance costs.
As with any mechanical device, cars need regular servicing and maintenance to perform at their best. Nothing in a car gets designed to last forever, so it’s worth bearing that fact in mind when choosing a used Mini for sale.
As I mentioned a moment ago, most people opt for financing their cars instead of paying cash. It’s a flexible way to afford the car you want, and won’t cost you a lot of money – as long as you know what you’re doing!
Most car dealers offer finance facilities such as hire purchase and leasing. When you buy a used Mini, you should remember that you can get finance from anywhere. It doesn’t need to get obtained from the dealer you buy the car from.
If you see a Mini that you like, find out what finance facilities the dealer offers. They can usually tell you what the typical APR (interest) rate of the finance will be. If your credit rating is good, you should find out how much your bank is willing to lend you and at what interest rate.
For those of you with poor credit ratings, consider talking to your local credit union for help. You should also approach peer-to-peer lenders, such as Zopa. There are plenty of ways to pay for your Mini. So don’t get pressured into signing up for a high-interest finance plan or loan when you don’t need to!
When getting quotes, it’s worth finding out how much the interest rate would be if you put down a small or large deposit on your future Mini. As weird as this sounds, some lenders charge less interest if you borrow more money from them!
In the United Kingdom, car insurance gets classified under “groups.” Group 1 cars offer the cheapest, whereas group 50 cars take you into supercar territory. The cheapest insurance group Mini is the 1.4-litre 3-door hatch, which is group 8. The dearest is the John Cooper Works edition, at group 37.
There are plenty of editions that fit somewhere between those two models. Once you know which trim level or model you want, get some insurance quotes for it before you buy. Websites like Compare The Market and Go Compare can help you get many quotes by filling in just one form.
If you are under 25 years old, or you have several driving convictions, insurance for high-spec Minis might be out of your reach. That’s why it is important that you get some quotes before you commit to buying a specific Mini.
Most used Mini cars on the market don’t have a hidden history. But if you don’t make the right checks before you buy, there’s always a chance you could buy one that has a chequered past.
Car dealers in the UK have a legal duty to confirm the cars they sell aren’t dodgy. The thing is, you have no such legal protection when you buy from a private seller. Regardless of who you buy from, get your potential new pride and joy checked first!
You can buy reports from HPI so that you can discover if the car got reported stolen or is an insurance write-off. You can also check the car’s MOT history online for free. The seller will need to give you the registration number and an MOT document reference number.
When you go to view the Mini you want to buy, make sure you check through its service history.
Now that you’ve read this handy guide, it’s time to go and look at some Minis! Good luck with your search!