With most new cars depreciating over 20% of their value year on year it is no wonder that buying a used vehicle has become such a cost-effective option. This helps to prevent you losing a lot of money through a higher purchase price and the initial depreciation on a new car.
There are often a few ways that you can go about purchasing a used vehicle. You can either visit a local used-car dealership, search online through eBay or a used car website, or even buy a car at auction. Buying at auction usually gives you the best price possible, but it could lead to problems down the line.
Below I am going to outline the best ways to ensure that you are getting a great deal when you buy your next used vehicle:
Research How Long the Used Vehicle Has Been on Sale
Similar to when you are buying a property, the longer it has been on sale means the more you’ll be able to negotiate a better deal. The same goes for when you’re buying a used vehicle.
Cars listed by a seller are usually more on the optimistic side when it comes the cars actual valuation. Sometimes they will receive an offer immediately which is great for them, however sometimes months can pass with no interest at the listed price. This then means that it is less about getting the highest price and simply making sure the car is sold.
You the buyer are able to take advantage of this, by checking how long a vehicle has been on the market prior to making an offer, means that you can put in a lower offer depending on the time that the vehicle has been listed.
Choose A Trustworthy Seller
It might seem like a good option to save some money when buying a used car in the short term, but not if you are going to have to shell out a small fortune on repairs down the line. “Cheap” used cars are often priced this way for a reason, this is down to the fact they cost a small fortune to maintain and keep them roadworthy.
The best way to protect yourself against buying a pocket drainer is to ensure you have done all the necessary research before you commit to purchasing the vehicle.
A private sale or car auction increases the risks for any potential buyer. However, on the opposite end of this scale, a car dealership with a strong reputation will provide you with a massive risk reduction. In addition to this, car dealerships often have great after sale service teams, who can help you if any issues do arise after purchase.
Low Risk Vs Low Price
You are often paying a premium price for a vehicle when you buy from a car dealership. This is because you are also paying for the dealerships rent, marketing activities, staff and much more.
All these aspects reduce the risk when buying a car, but these costs are included in the price for the car. This means you can pay significantly more for a car compared to a similar car from a private seller. If you know what you are looking for, and can check the history of the car before purchase, you can save money and buy private.
If you know how to separate the good from the bad, another place to look for great deals on used cars are within the classified sections of car magazines, forums, newspapers as well as websites like eBay.
This does ultimately weigh down to low risk vs low price, and how you can find a perfect middle ground.
Check Valuations Online
This may seem obvious but when looking for a used car ensure you know the going rate for the car you want to buy. With so many makes and models available, and ‘additional extras’ it can quickly become confusing on which car has the best deal. One main important part to look for when comparing prices is the vehicles mileage. This can alter the price of a vehicle dramatically.
Once you know the going rate for the vehicle you want to buy, you will also find it easier to negotiate.
Vehicle Inspections Helps During Negotiations
People often say you can either negotiate or you can’t. However, it is not as complicated and daunting as some people make it seem. There are many factors you can bring into the negotiation to help reduce the overall price. One of the most common of these is showing the seller other similar cars ‘you are looking to buy’ which are cheaper.
However, by looking over the vehicle and highlighting dents, scratches, chips and any other imperfections or missing parts can help the reduce the price. However, do not just inspect the outside of the vehicle, look inside at the center console, door cards, seats and even look under the bonnet. No matter how small the defect or blemish is, ensure you highlight this as when combined they can become a powerful negotiating tool.
However, if you begin noticing a lot of defects but you like the car, it may be worth having an independent inspection to ensure they are not hidden defects.
Complete A Car History Check
There is nothing worse than finding your perfect car for the perfect price, which is still a significant amount, and then learning it has a hidden history. This happens far more than you would expect. Thousands of cars are sold each day which have a hidden history such as outstanding finance, undeclared insurance write-offs and even stolen cars.
Luckily, you can easily prevent this situation. By completing a vehicle check online, they can check the vehicles registrations and highlight any issues to you in a matter of seconds. These vehicle history checks are inexpensive, but can help you save thousands if you buy a vehicle with a hidden history.
Once you have the knowledge of the history of the vehicle, you can then make a more informed decision, and decide it the car is right for you.
*This is a collaborative post