What You Need to Know When Buying a Used Car

Posted June 27, 2022 by in Lifestyle

For many people, buying a used car can be daunting. Especially, if you’re buying your first car or aren’t sure of the options available to you. It doesn’t have to be this way though, buying a used car can be a simple and hassle-free process. There are a few things that you should consider before you jump into signing on the dotted line. The guide below has been designed with you in mind. Take a look at the things you should take into consideration before buying a used car and how to get the deal that’s right for you. 

crop of a woman's hand on a truck steering wheel

Know your budget

The first place you should start is knowing how much you have to spend on a used car. If you’re buying a car with cash, you may already know roughly how much you want to spend on buying a car outright. Alternatively, you could be budgeting for monthly car finance payments. Whichever way you want to fund your next car purchase, it’s best to look at all your incomings and outgoings first to see how much you can afford. You can then highlight how much you have left over to go towards saving for a used car or your car finance payments. This can also be a good time to cancel any memberships or subscriptions you don’t use and put towards your savings goal instead. 

Ways to fund your used car

When it comes to buying a car, there are many options available to drivers nowadays. You could either choose to buy the car with cash. This means you have the freedom to get a car from a dealership or private seller and will own the car from the start of the agreement. It can be hard to save up thousands of pounds to get a vehicle though so many drivers turn to alternative ways of funding. Car finance can be a great way to help spread the cost of your next used car. Personal loans, hire purchase and personal contract purchase are some of the most popular ways to buy a used car. It’s worth exploring each in more detail to see which agreement can suit you best and factoring in the current status of your credit score

Your car requirements

It can be really important that the used car you buy fits in with your lifestyle. You may already have certain requirements that your new car needs to have. For example, if you have a large family, you may be more suited to 7 seater cars or cars with large boot space. If you’re looking for your first car, you may be more suited to cars with low running costs or cheap to insure. It’s worth working out what you need from your next used car before you start shopping around. 

Where to buy your next used car

When it comes to buying a used car, you can buy with a private seller or direct at a dealership. If you are buying with cash or with a personal, you have the flexibility to buy your car at either. Private sellers can offer the best rates and it’s easier to negotiate but you don’t have the added protection that you get with a dealership. Dealerships can offer warranties and breakdown cover to help if anything goes wrong. 

Take a test drive

If you’ve found a car that you like, you should always take a test driver. Or if there are a few makes and models that fit into your budget, you should test drive as many as you like. Getting a car is a big purchase so it’s important you like the feel of driving the car and have time to inspect it for yourself. Take the car out for a test drive for at least 30 minutes and try to drive on different roads such as city streets or dual carriageways, this helps you get a feel of how the car performs. You should check the car over for any scrapes or dint and have a look under the bonnet. It could give you negotiation power to get the price down if you spot a minor defect. 

Part exchange your current car

Having a car to part exchange can be helpful if you’re getting a car through a dealership. Part exchange cars are a great way to help offset the cost of getting your next car. You can use the value of your current car as a deposit for your next used car. It can also save the hassle of selling your old car and instead you can drop it at the dealer when you go to collect your new car! 

Check the cars history

Checking the history of the car you want to buy can help reduce the risk of you buying a car that has had major repairs or if it has been sold illegally. You can check the car’s details with the DVLA online to make sure the sellers’ details of the car matches those of the DVLA. You can also run a MOT check to make sure the car is safe for the road and has a history of regular MOT’s. 

Read more: