Having children puts a huge strain on the bank balance. Before I had children I didn't quite appreciate just how much. (Que the wistful reminiscing about what you used to indulge your pay packet on.)
So I understand why people look to buy a second hand buggy. My mission is to enable more parents to have the freedom to exercise by having a running buggy, so I frequently help answer questions on this subject in my Facebook Community (Buggy Runners). If you aren't already a member please join us!
To help you on your hunt, here are my rules for second hand Running Buggy shopping!
RULE 1: Interrogation of the Source...
It's a bit like buying a car. Ideally you want one elderly lady owner! 😂 But seriously ask about the amount it's been used, where (trails, road, woodland, farms) to understand how much it's been battered! Check for rust and that all the main safety features work (safety harness, brakes, suspension etc)
RULE 2: Fit for Purpose?
There are SO many buggies out there to confuse and intimidate a sleep deprived parent. Just because it has Sport or Jogger in the name doesn't make it suitable for running with. In a running buggy you should look for; 3 wheels, Suspension, large AIR filled tyres (minimum of 16 inch on the rear) Front wheel that fixes straight as opposed to swivel, 5 point safety harness, adjustable handlebar to prevent a sore back.
Nice to haves are; Under 14kgs in unit weight, Wrist strap (can buy as an add on), hand brake (how important this is depends on where you run), easy fold mechanism, wheels easy to remove and generous sun canopy.
RULE 3: Where has it (the Running Buggy) been stored?
I once read a heartbreaking post about a poor Mum who bought a bargain only to receive the Buggy covered in mould. It's often an issue in garages. There are some fab places around the country that will give your buggy a good steam clean but it doesn't always get rid of mould so it's one to be cautious of. Here is the lowdown from a doctor.
RULE 4: Running Buggy Viewing
If you get to visit the Buggy before you buy, check the brakes work. Often they can get muddy and rusty over time if not well maintained.
Don't be put off by flat tyres, a new inner tube can fix them (cost of between £6-10). (But always check inside for debris that has caused the puncture) Do look at the tread of the tyre. If they look bald you might want to see if you can buy replacement (kids bike tyres) or knock some money off.
RULE 5: Protection
Use PayPal to protect yourself if there is an issue once the Buggy has arrived with you.
depending on when you get your Buggy and how often it will be used, consider if the difference in price for a new one with a warranty and no wear and tear is worth the investment. Running buggies are in demand right now and this outstrips supply. There aren't many bargains to be had sadly but at least that means if you do buy a new one it will hold a decent resale value.
Happy Buggy Running!