Buying a used car over new offers significant savings and a used car will keep its value far more than a new car will. New cars do offer good value in terms of not having to worry about maintenance and you get the joy of having all the newest features and gadgets. But you will pay a premium for this. If you have good credit and qualify for a new car loan then buying a new car will most likely still be more expensive than an older version of the new car, and will probably cost you more to insure. Even if you have the cash or finance ready to buy a new car the value will depreciate faster than a used car. If you plan on keeping the car until it is fully paid off then this isn’t too much of an issue but if you like to trade in your cars regularly then this will affect the value of the part exchange potentially more than you imagine.Buying a used car means you can get more for your money, a new car packed full of features and tech is a very tempting thing to buy and nice to own. However, you can pick up a used car only a few years old which will be fully loaded and be substantially cheaper than buying the car new.
So what should you be looking for when on you go shopping for a used car?
1. Work out what you need?
Before you start searching for a new vehicle it is worthwhile pinning down exactly what you require from a new car. It could be that you need a 7 seater people carrier, with a big boot that is cheap to run to fit in all the family or a 3 door hatchback, with good fuel consumption around town, and parking sensors just to get around town. It is always sensible to work out a budget of how much it will cost to run your new purchase, car tax, insurance, servicing and fuel. There are loads of great online calculators, like this one – Car Costs Calculator, to work out roughly how much it will cost you to run your new car.
2. Keep an open mind
When looking be willing to look at brands, models or engine sizes which you might be unfamiliar with or are less popular. This can help you to bag a bargain. In recent years petrol cars have become less popular, in part because diesel cars can offer better fuel economy in certain conditions. However, if you don’t drive a lot of miles or spend most of your time doing short trips then it might be a smarter choice to pick up a petrol car. However, with the recent announcements made by the government and stricter rules around emissions, the demand for diesel is dropping off.
3. Get a valuation
There are loads of ways to get an accurate valuation on your current car. You can either take it to a dealer or use an online buying service. The valuation will be given with just a few details, such as registration number and a bit of information given about the current condition [current mileage] of the car. Of course using an online valuation with only a small amount of information given will mean the valuation won’t be as accurate as it would be at a dealer who can give the car a quick once-over. However just to give yourself an idea of the price you can expect for the car so that you can go and start shopping around and be aware of roughly how much you will get for a part exchange or cash to put towards your new car if you decide to go that way.
4. Check the car
Once you have had a look around and a car has caught your eye it is time to give the car a thorough once-over. Take your time to look over the car, sit in it see if you find it comfortable and will work for your needs, is the boot big enough do you need more space inside, is it comfortable? Then take it for a test drive, it doesn’t have to be a long, 10-15 minutes should be plenty of time. If possible do try and take it on a few different styles of road, to see how it does at both high and low speeds. While driving give everything [washers, wipers, lights, etc.] a quick check to make sure they are working ok. If there are any issues then raise them with the seller and see what they say, if there are issues then ask them to have them repaired before you buy. If you think there might be issues in the near future with the car such as tyres being close to being illegal then it is worth asking the seller to get them changed or to reduce the price the amount that it will cost you to have the tyres replaced. If you are buying a car which still has manufacturers warranty a garage will automatically transfer that warranty to the new owner, private sellers won’t necessarily do this, it is worth finding out. Check with the dealer what is covered by that warranty and how you go about claiming on for work covered by the warranty.
Looking for a used car can be nerve-wracking, especially as it can feel like a high pressure and pushy environment. Here at the Victoria Motor Company, we pride ourselves on providing high quality, low mileage cars if you are looking for a new car then why not and see us. We have over 40 years experience in the motor trade and aim to make selecting your next vehicle a pleasurable and hassle-free experience. To see out current stock click here.