So, you’ve decided what your next car should be and you’re thinking about how to buy it. Some drivers get antsy about used cars. Many of us have heard the horror stories such as Aunt Mabel’s car she bought in an alleyway that collapsed as soon as she got it on the road. It’s time to clear those horror stories up and show how you can get a good deal on a good car, used or not.
Do your research
This is a tip that applies to not just used cars, but all kinds of cars. Make sure that you spend your test drive actually paying attention to how it feels and performs. Conduct your own examination of the vehicle and then let your mechanic pal take a closer look, too. The RAC also provides a history check service. Simply enter the license plate and you learn everything you need to know about the car to make sure it’s not written off or stolen.
Buy a better kind of used
At actual dealerships, you’re very unlikely to come across cars that shouldn’t be sold. Liable as they are for what they sell, they tend to check ahead of time. What’s more, if you really want to make sure you’re getting the best performance possible, then you should look at approved or certified used cars, like those available from Stephen James Group. These are cars that have been more than just maintained, but have been fully approved by the manufacturer, meaning there’s little difference between new and approved used besides the cost.
Avoid the private market horror stories
All those ghost stories of cars that go bump in the night are often down to private sellers. Simply put, a lot of them don’t put in the efforts that dealerships do, as This Is Money details. When you buy used, not only are you at more risk of buying a car that’s not fit for ownership. It also takes a lot more legwork and paperwork than if you simply buy it from a dealer instead. If you’re not certain you can identify a dodgy deal when you see one, it’s probably best to stay off the private market.
Time your buy
If you’ve found a reputable dealership, there are other ways to get a better price for your next car, too. Timing your buy, as recommended by the Money Advice Service, is probably the best way. Consider the seasonal demand of cars, such as how popular convertibles are in the summer and buy them when they’re not in demand. Or, you can wait until the end of a sales period, such as the end of the month or quarter. Salespeople are wanting to reach their targets at this time, and might be willing to knock more off the price than usual.
If you’re willing to be diligent and do a little footwork, or invest a little more, you can get an excellent car at a much better price than new without issue. Don’t let the risks of a few bad dealers spook you.