Re: to buy or not to buy?
I always find you get an idea of the car from the owner, look 'em in the eye when asking questions, on the test drive, get them to drive out and you drive back, see how they drive/treat it.
Have a look at as many as you can, even if they might be out of your price range, it's amazing how much people will move on prices if you arm yourself with a Parkers/Glasses guide and have the lager vouchers at the ready.
Most importantly, it's YOUR cash, don't be fobbed off with "it's always done that" and " it never did that before, must be a lose wire"
No matter how good a car it seems, if you're not convinced, they'll be another around the corner.
A bit of advise for when you get one, try to stop grinning like a idiot!