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5 Steps to Successful Used Car Buying

Buying a used car isn't an exact science by any means, and even experienced trade professionals get it wrong sometimes. The great thing about buying used is the amount of money you can save compared to buying new, as long as you are careful with what you buy and how you buy it. To make sure you avoid some of the potential pitfalls and to help you identify a great deal, here are five tips to point you in the right direction.

1. Do Your Research

The internet has made locating the right car at the right price easier than ever, but it doesn't mean research should be rushed. As well as locating the make and model of car, the web will also show what the average price for a target vehicle is by allowing direct comparisons with similar vehicles from different buyers. Be careful though, regional differences can be considerable so stick to a reasonably local area as comparing models 400 miles away from each other may be misleading.

2. Who to Buy From

There's obviously a good degree of safety built in when buying from a large dealer, which isn't there when you're buying privately from a stranger. A used car from a dealer will have been through the workshop and will come with a comprehensive used car warranty as part of the deal. They'll even be able to offer an extension to the warranty if you'd like the extra protection. As long as you're diligent you could save money buying privately, and you can now even buy a warranty yourself for greater peace of mind. You can have a private car checked over by professionals such as the AA or RAC before you buy it as long as the seller agrees. However, this obviously incurs another expense you wouldn't have to add to the price from a dealer, so it's not always as simple as just buying privately equals cheaper. Make sure you consider every cost and weigh up the pros and cons; you might find the dealer cheaper overall.

3. Don't Miss Out

We always expect the seller to do a deal on the price of the car, right? Well actually, that's not necessarily always the case these days. Some dealers, especially those who are part of a large group, often price used cars incredibly keenly against the current market these days. It's therefore not unheard of today for a dealer to insist on the screen price as they know it's extremely competitive. Don't walk away from the right car at what you know is an excellent price just because they won't reduce the price even further.

4. Know What You're Buying

If you buy from a reputable dealer a vehicle history check will have been carried out. This means the car for sale will be clear from finance, it won't have been an insurance write-off, and the mileage will be verified. If you're buying privately you really must get a check done yourself as it doesn't cost a great deal and it could save you a fortune in the long run. Also when buying privately, make sure you see the service history and MOT to confirm it matches what was advertised, and never buy from anywhere other than the seller's home.

5.  Always Test Drive

Even if the car is an ex-demo or reasonably new always insist on a test drive. Even if it's at a dealership, it's blocked in by other cars, it's Sunday and they're short-staffed, and it's exactly what you are looking for, make an appointment to come back for a test drive. Not only is a test drive likely to make squeaks, knocks or more serious faults apparent, it will also confirm whether it really is the right car for you.

So, if you have bought a used car or just about to why not enter your registration number and get a used car warranty quote, it only takes a few minutes and we are sure you will be very surprised how little it costs for peace of mind motoring.

16 August 2016

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