It’s no secret that most people find buying a second-hand vehicle quite overwhelming.
Whether you’re trying to choose a reputable dealership or simply figuring out your budget, there are so many things to consider. You have been weighing up your options for a while now, but you’re still none the wiser about purchasing a used car. Firstly, you should think about shopping for a car that is around three years old, as this will probably be the best value for you. The reasoning behind this is that the majority of brand new vehicles are bought through various finance offers, which usually operate for two to three years. When people return to their dealer for an upgrade these three-year-old cars will be on the market for you to buy at affordable prices. It’s unlikely that you will have to face pricey repairs at this point, so if you’re looking for a reliable used car, this might be a sensible starting point for you.
1 Know Your Budget
Understanding what kind of budget you are working with before making contact with a dealership will set you off on the right foot. You must try and stick to your budget if you can so that you can then figure out how much you can afford in terms of monthly payments. Maintaining the vehicle will cost you money each month, as well as your monthly petrol allowance. Once you have a set of clear numbers in your head, you will be able to start the process of searching for your ideal motor.
2 Choose a Trusted Dealer
Don’t just opt for the first dealership you come across online; make sure you thoroughly check or even better a recommendation. You want to make sure you are choosing a truthful and dependable dealer that isn’t out to rip you off more of a consultive approach, advice what to buy what to avoid including what’s the best way of funding. Be extra cautious about deals that seem too good to be true; often that will be the case and you might be getting caught up in a scam. Trust your instincts and if you get a bad feeling, don’t be afraid to walk away and find another option. Don’t part with your money if you have any uncertainties at all.
3 Do Your Research
Even if you have a set budget in mind, you need to figure out what kind of vehicles you might be able to buy for this amount. Start researching used car prices so that you can evaluate whether you’re paying a reasonable price for the model you want. Going into a dealership blind, without any information about other offers on the market, won’t always put you in the best position. You should never feel rushed into making a decision, so keep on comparing your options and only settle when you know it’s the right choice for you.
4 Take it for a Test Drive
This point goes without saying, but you should always check that the car performs just how you would expect it to. A test drive might be a deal breaker for you if it doesn’t quite handle correctly or you can hear odd sounds coming from the engine. Test the car on roads you would usually take to work, whether it’s the motorway or country roads. If a dealer is reluctant for you to take it for a test drive then this is a tell-tale sign that it might not the vehicle they say it is.
5 Double Check the Finer Details
Be sure to give the car a thorough inspection in the daylight and ideally when it’s not raining. You need to be able to spot any blemishes on the paintwork and surfaces inside the car. Obviously, you can expect second-hand motors to have to odd scrape and graze, but make sure this is reflected in the price you are paying. Be sure to double check all of the special features such as air conditioning, digital radio, sat nav and electric windows, not to mention the full MOT and mileage history with the previous owner and current dealer.
6 Carry out Important Checks
The excitement of purchasing a car can sometimes get the better of people; when you are presented with a mound of paperwork don’t feel rushed into signing it. Take your time to read every point carefully so that you know exactly what you’re signing up for. You should make sure that there are no inconsistencies in the service record as this could cause you a lot of money if something were to go wrong with the timing belt, for example.
7 Understand Your Payment Options
If you have chosen a respectable dealer, your payment method shouldn’t be a concern for you. Be wary of carrying large amounts of cash with you when going to buy a car. Similarly, be wary of online payments if you have never met the dealer or spoken in person before. When parting with large amounts of money you should always feel 100% secure with your method of payment, so don’t ever feel rushed into making a payment if you’re not entirely sure of its authenticity.
Seeking out expert advice is highly recommended when you are looking to buy a used car. Instead of risking any unauthorised dealership, you should look for a trustworthy place to purchase your vehicle. If you were to opt for a service like ours you can simply tell us the kind of vehicle you are looking for and we will email a selection of cars that suit your preferences. The car you end up buying will be fully inspected too, so you don’t have to worry about any unwelcome surprises. Don’t risk buying your used car from somewhere you don’t fully trust and ensure you have done your research thoroughly before you sign any paperwork. Buying a used car is a cost-effective and sensible way to own a vehicle, so as long as you take your time to do everything right, you should never have to face anything unexpected during the process.