When it comes to our cars, most of us are looking for a reliable, efficient and attractive model that won’t break the bank. Since many new models will lose up to half their value in the first two years, buying a one or two-year-old car buying a used car is the best way to save on costs, without sacrificing on style or quality. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a great used car.
Should I Buy Private or Commercial?
There are perks to both buying from a private individual, and going through a dealer. Usually you will pay more buying from a commercial dealer, but you will also have more protection if something goes wrong. All registered dealers must be fully licensed and are bound by the Sale of Goods Act, which specifies that any defects or faults MUST be made clear at the time of sale.
Independent car dealers are generally cheaper than franchises, and are more likely to be flexible on price. If you want extra security, ensure your dealer is a member of the RMIF (Retail Motor Industry Federation). The conditions of membership require them to provide a good service, and you can go to their National Conciliation Service in the event of a dispute.
There are also advantages to going private. If you have a look around online, you should be able to find people keen to sell their cars for a fair price, so they can upgrade to a newer model. This is where you might be able to snag a great deal, and avoid the hassle of a haggle. However, this can be riskier than buying from an approved dealer.
The savings you make could be short-lived if the car turns out to be a dud and the seller is gone with the wind. Cars are sold as seen, so you have no comeback if there’s fault, but if the vendor has been dishonest with the description – for example, by saying that it has had only one previous owner when you can prove that it has had more – then you can claim for compensation.
When buying a used car, negotiation is the key to bagging a great deal. More often than now, the dealer will be out to make as much profit as possible, so make sure you know exactly how much the car is worth, and how much you’re willing to pay, before you seal the deal. Does the car come with a warranty? If so, check how long it lasts and what it covers.
Think carefully before shelling out a lot for a warranty, and always try and negotiate a lower price. Always remember that there are hundreds of used car dealers in any given area – if you don’t like what you see, you can easily go elsewhere.
Think about what you are looking for in a car before you buy. Ask friends or relatives for recommendations, or browse online. Be sure to go for the make and model that’s right for you. Hondas and Fords make for a great second-hand vehicle, and Suzuki used cars are also an option. There are a ton of different ways to go about buying a used car, so don’t think you’re only option is a standard dealership.
Buying at a car auction can get you a real bargain. If you are lucky, you may find a six- to 12-month-old car at a saving of between 20% and 50% off the new car list price. Prices at car supermarkets are usually low because they stock large numbers of vehicles and have low overheads. You can also shop online with trusted websites, but be sure to have the vehicle thoroughly inspected and check both the specification and the warranty. Also, don’t forget to find out how much you will be charged for delivery.