Buying a used car can be confusing, especially if you’re shopping for your first car. However, it doesn’t need to be. There are a few things you can consider before you head to the dealer. If you’re on a limited budget, you may want to dip your toe into the world of haggling which can seem like a daunting process. Our guide below has been designed to help you get a good deal on a used car and how to negotiate the price.
Benefits of buying a used car
The prospect of getting a brand-new car can be a really exciting time. However, for many people new cars are out of their budget when buying with cash or you may not qualify for finance. Under these circumstances, getting a used car could be the best choice for you. Read on for some of the biggest benefits to getting a second-hand car:
- More choice. The used car market is booming, and you won’t be short of finding a used car that’s right for you.
- Cheaper to buy. Used cars cost less to buy then new ones. Meaning you don’t have to borrow as much when getting a used car on finance or save up as much money to purchase one.
- Less depreciation. Depreciation is the difference between the amount a car is worth from new to when it comes to selling it on. New cars can lose up to 50% of their value in the first two years of ownership so used car buyers can benefit from a car that holds its value better.
- Warranty included. Nowadays, many dealers offer warranties on used cars so you can have that added bit of peace of mind when buying a used car.
Tips for buying a used car:
Before you head to the dealer, we recommend consider the following factors:
- Know your budget
Before making any sort of car purchase, its best to have your finances in order first. Know how much you have to spend on a car and don’t over stretch yourself if you can’t afford it. If you’re looking for car finance, its best to know how much you can comfortably pay towards your car payments each month and can determine the cars within your budget.
- Shop at the right time
Did you know you can get a better deal at certain times of the year? The best time to buy a used car can be just before the new registrations come out as dealers may want to shift their stock. Or you could shop after the new registrations come out and take advantage of a second-hand car that a new car buyer has used as a part exchange.
- Take a test drive
If you’ve got your finances in order and have found a car you like, its recommend that you take a thorough test drive before you commit to buy. What’s better, if there’s a few cars you like that suit your budget, take the time to test drive them all to see which one suits you best. Try to take the car out for at least 30 minutes, drive on different types of roads and inspect the car in a well-lit area.
- Check the cars history
You can check the history of a car you want to buy through the DVLA website. This can give you an indicated as to whether the car has been written off in the past or if it’s been stolen. You can also view the MOT certificate of the car you are buying by entering the number online. You should also check all the paperwork that comes with the car and make sure it all looks ok before committing to purchase.
- Negotiating the price
If you’re not much of a haggler, negotiating the price of your used car can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be! If you’re buying from a private seller, you may have more negotiation power than at a dealer. But you could still get the price down even with a little bit of haggling. You should always be friendly and polite when negotiating the cost of a car and don’t let the seller know the maximum you’re willing to pay. Start a lower than the asking price and then try to meet somewhere in the middle.