How to buy a used car

With a vast amount of vehicles to choose from and dealership offering numerous deals, buying a car can be an overwhelming and expensive process, but it doesn’t have to be. More and more people are opting to buy a used car instead of a new car to save them money. Cars can lose between 15-35% of their value in the first year, therefore, buying a car that is just 6 months old could save you a lot of money. If you are looking for used cars for sale, then follow our guide on how to buy a second-hand vehicle and get yourself the best deal possible.

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How to buy a second-hand car

A few tips on how to shop for a used car could save time, money and reduce the risk of buying a faulty vehicle. By understanding the car buying process, who to buy from and how to make sure the sale is legitimate, you could put yourself in a better position to achieve a good deal. So, before you head to a dealership, here are our tips on buying a used car.


Research your car: It isn’t advisable to head straight to a car dealer without any prior research. Looking into the market value of the vehicle you wish to buy and its average depreciation rate should give you a better understanding of how much the car should be worth. It is also worth knowing what specifications are available with the model, so you know what to expect and what you should be checking for when you visit the car.


Where to buy used cars: Choosing where to buy your car can have an effect on how you should approach the purchase and the value of the car you’re buying. The main options include buying privately, online or from a dealership. It is advised to keep an open mind when shopping for your next car, there are great deals to be found in each of the previously mentioned options.


Buying a car safely: Buying from a private seller or online can be the riskier methods of purchase. If you buy a used car from either of these options, it is important to thoroughly check the vehicle and the legal documents to ensure the sale is legitimate and to avoid being a victim of a scam. The required documents can prove that the seller is the legal owner of the vehicle and carefully checking the car can prevent buying a vehicle that has hidden faults or modifications.

How to get the best deal for a used car

After the research is complete, you are happy with your chosen vehicle and where you are going to buy it from, the next step is to get the best deal possible for the car you are purchasing. Here are our tips on how to get the best deal when buying a used car.


Don’t be afraid to haggle

Haggling may seem like a daunting task, but it is often expected from the seller, so don’t be afraid to give it a go. It can be more difficult to haggle from a dealership than it is when buying privately, but it is not impossible. If you have completed enough research and can show that you are knowledgeable about the industry, they could find it more difficult to refuse you. Also, don’t be afraid to walk away. If the dealer thinks they could lose the sale, they may be more willing to accommodate your requests.


What to ask when buying a used car

Asking questions will not only help you better understand the vehicle’s condition and its history but will also show the seller that you know what you are looking for. Questions to ask include, how many previous owners has the car had, how many miles has it done, does it have a complete service history? Etc. If the seller can’t answer any of these questions, this could be an indication that the car has been stolen. Don’t make the purchase until you are convinced the sale is legal and the seller is being honest with you.


When to buy a used car

The time of the year in which you buy your used car could have an influence on the price you pay. For example, the plate change will automatically alter the value of a car. Each time a new number plate is released, cars can become another half year older and will, inevitably, lose more of its value, so it could be worthwhile to wait until the plate change has taken place before you purchase a used car. Seasonality is another factor that should be considered. For example, if you are looking to buy a convertible, they are often more popular in the summer months, therefore, better deals can be found in the winter when the demand is less. This is particularly true when buying from showrooms.

When you are ready to buy a used car or a second-hand van, you may want to sell your old car beforehand and use the cash you receive as a deposit to negotiate a better deal on your next car. Find out how much your car is worth with our quick to use car valuation calculator. Enter your number plate and receive your car’s value in under 60 seconds.

Before you buy your next car you can find out how much your current car is worth at resale via our car valuation calculator.

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