Used Car Buying – How To Do It Right.

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15 December 2023

Automotive

Used Car

Used cars tend to be the most popular amongst UK drivers and it can be easy to see why. Second-hand cars have a lower purchase price, suffer from less depreciation and there is an endless amount of choice!

The main disadvantage of buying a used car is the lack of knowledge regarding its history. When you buy a new car, you will be the first owner and don’t have to second guess how the car’s been treated or if it’s been involved in an accident.

Reduce the risk of something going wrong with your next used car purchase by following these top tips below for safe car buying. 

Know your affordability. 

Before you make any large purchase, you should know how much you can afford to pay for it. This can speed up the buying process if you only shop for cars within your budget. Your budget may be one lump sum to pay for a car with cash or spread the cost into monthly payments with finance. Whichever way you choose to buy your next used car, you should try not to stray from your budget as you may get into a deal that you can’t afford to pay back.

Check the market value. 

Once you know how much you can spend on a used car, it’s time to see which cars you could buy. A quick internet search of local, trusted dealerships can help you to find used cars you can afford. It also gives you an idea of how much the cars you like would cost.

For example, if you’re striving for a used BMW on finance, knowing how much it would cost to buy one can give you an idea of how much your monthly budget could be. Knowing the market value of the cars you want to buy also helps if you’re buying with cash and wanting to negotiate the price. If there’s a similar model from a dealer down the road but with a lower price, you could use this as leverage or get a better deal. 

Check credit score for finance.

No matter if you’re looking for finance for a Volkswagen or a Porsche, the first thing you should do is to check your credit score. Your credit score can affect your ability to get approved for finance and not knowing where you fall on the credit scale can be costly.

A low credit score can make it harder to get approved if your low score is due to missed or late payments in the past or a lack of credit history. This is because you are seen as more of a risk to lenders and are more likely to default on future loans too. If you need to improve your credit score you should do so before applying for finance. 

Check insurance rates.

car-insurance

If you’re buying your first car, insurance rates can be some of the highest around. Newly qualified drivers are more likely to have a road accident in their first year of driving which bumps up the premium. Searching around for cheaper cars to insure and in your budget could help you save money. buying a used car isn’t just about the initial purchase price but also about being able to afford the running cost too. 

Use a reputable dealership. 

You can buy a second-hand car from a dealer or private seller but to help protect your purchase, you should consider buying your car from a reputable and trusted dealer in the UK. Buying from a dealer gives you an added layer of protection and means you are covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

This act means you are entitled to a full refund, repair, or replacement if the car is not as described or fit for purpose. Check the status of the dealer with the FCA and read verified reviews of other customers before committing to the sale. 

Check the history of the car.

Used cars run the risk of having a hidden history but you can check the history of a car you are interested in buying for free. You can check the tax and MOT status of a car and get more information by simply entering the registration number into the DVLA website. You can also make a one-off payment of around £10 with a trusted Car History Check website to see if the car has been stolen, previously written off or still has existing finance on it. 

Test drive and check the vehicle. 

Before you commit to buying a used car, you should always test drive it first to see how you like it. Take the car out for at least 30 minutes, drive it on different types of roads, and perform maneuvers to get a feel of how it drives. Also, take this opportunity to park up somewhere and check over the vehicle for any imperfections or damage. 

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Nabamita Sinha loves to write about lifestyle and pop-culture. In her free time she loves to watch movies and TV series and experiment with food. Her favourite niche topics are fashion, lifestyle, travel and gossip content. Her style of writing is creative and quirky.

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