Useful Tips for Buying A Used Car

Buying a used car is often a better idea than buying a brand new one. It’s less expensive, and the depreciation of the car once you have it is much less steep. Plus, there are some excellent deals to be had. However, it can be daunting to look for a used car since there are many horror stories about the problems they can cause and the issues that buying one can raise.

If you know you need or want to buy a used car, but you’re not sure how to go about it or what to watch out for, here are some useful tips to help you navigate this potentially tricky journey.

Private or Trade?

The first decision you will need to make is whether you should buy from a private seller or go to a trade dealer. Each has its pros and cons, and you will need to weigh up what is most important to you, depending on what you are looking for.

A trade dealer will often offer some kind of warranty which is great for peace of mind; should anything go wrong with the car during the period of the warranty, the dealer should fix it so that it is roadworthy again. A private seller won’t be able to do this, so you might feel you are taking more of a chance when buying from a private individual. However, you might find that private sellers offer lower prices – they don’t have the overheads that a dealer does (including that warranty). Of course, a dealer must always make a profit on whatever they bought, so their prices will generally be higher. What is most important to you?

Part Exchange?

If you already own a car, you might think that offering it as part exchange for a new one is a good idea. It can undoubtedly give you a discount on the used car you are thinking about buying. However, this isn’t always a good plan, and you might not be getting as good a deal as you think.

Many people find it is better to sell their old car first and use the cash as a bartering tool to get a good deal on a new car. You will find that you can get more if you sell the car to a private individual than if you part exchange to a dealer, and therefore the overall deal is better. If you need your car right up until you buy the new one, you can always sell it afterwards and keep it in storage using in the meantime.

Test Drive

You might see the ideal car online or on a dealer’s forecourt, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be good to drive. Even if you’ve had a similar car in the past, the individual quirks that each car has means that some are just more comfortable and easier to handle than others. This is why a test drive is absolutely crucial. Of course, you can buy a car without having seen it if that is what your situations dictates, but if you have a chance to take the vehicle for a test drive, this is much better. You can be sure then that you are buying a car you are happy to drive.