14 Jul 2020

Tips to Help You When Buying a Used Car

Post by Jordan Toplen

If you want to buy a car, do you automatically imagine a brand new one or a used one? Your income is going to determine which of these options is possible for you, but even if you could buy a new car, should you? A new car is certainly something that is nice to have, but buying a used car that is only a few years (or even months) old can be a much better option. If this is the route you want to go down, here are some tips about buying a used car to help you get a good deal. 

Should You Buy from Private or Trade? 

There will be a choice when you start to look at where you can purchase a used car from. Some of the cars you see advertised will be from private sellers, people like you who have a car that they want to sell. Others will be from trade sellers who specialize in selling used cars. Each option is going to have good points and bad, and it’s wise to know which you prefer before you start searching because you can narrow down your search this way. 

When you buy from a dealer, you may be able to get a warranty with the car which can often be useful and give you greater peace of mind. However, you will also be paying more since the dealer is going to want to make a profit. When buying from a private seller, you might not get the full story about the car (possibly because the seller themselves don’t know there are any issues) but you will pay less, meaning you have more in your budget to make any fixes that might be required. 

Should You Use Your Car in Part Exchange? 

If you have a car already, your initial thought might be that offering it up as part payment for your new car would be a good idea. You will certainly get a discount on the car you want to buy, but is this really a good deal when you sit down and look at the figures? In many cases, the answer is no. 

Often, it is better to sell your old car first and then use the cash you get from that to buy your next car. You can haggle a great deal in this way, and often get more money off than you would have if you had part exchanged your old car. Sometimes the idea of selling a car can be daunting, and it is far easier to simply offer it to the trader you are buying from, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. If you search around you’ll find specialist dealers who are happy to buy from you and will make the process easier; search for ‘sell my Ferrari’ for example and you will quickly be able to get the sale done. 

Test Drive

It could be tempting to buy a car without having seen it or taken it for a test drive, especially if you have seen images of the car online and know that it’s just what you are looking for. This is an easy thing to do these days since many car dealers will take payment in advance and then even deliver the car to you. It sounds ideal, especially if you have already sold your old car. 

However, although it is certainly convenient, it could be a mistake. Buying a car without looking it over and without taking it for a test drive might mean you end up with a car you just don’t like. Even if you have driven the same make and model in the past, each car is different and each has its own peculiarities; you need to test the car you are actually going to be driving to ensure it is what you want.