Top tips for buying a used car

Millions of used cars are sold around the world every day. With so many used cars on the market, how do you decide on the right one for you? You want to find the right used car, but avoid dodgy sales tactics and unsafe vehicles. Follow these simple tips to buy a used car.

‘Used’ doesn’t mean ‘ancient’

You don’t have to buy a very old car to save some a lot of money. A car that is only a year old is often a lot cheaper than a brand new vehicle. If you really love a particular model of car, wait a year and then look for a pre-owned one and save a lot of money on the price of a new one. Luxury brands tend to hold their value better, but you can get great deals on things like Audi used car offers.

Think it through

Be smart with your choices when deciding on your car. A smaller engine is cheaper to run than a bigger one and will use less fuel. Petrol cars are often cheaper than diesel, because diesel is more efficient.

Petrol is usually cheaper from the pump, so think about whether fuel economy or price is more important to you. It may simply depend how many miles you do in a year. Manual cars are cheaper to buy than automatics, so you need to decide which you’d prefer.

Timing is key

Go car shopping at the right time. Car dealerships will have targets to hit, so if you shop when they’re close to a deadline or period end, you might have more room to negotiate a lower price to make the sale. Most dealers work on quarterly targets, so visit towards tahe end of March, June, September or December. Avoid weekends or just after payday to avoid the crowds.

Also, you’ll want to make sure you time the sale of your old car properly. A great time to sell is during tax season and that’s where you will end up getting top dollar. Many people are looking on car advertorial sites for used cars. Or, if you’re looking for a simpler option you might want to find a local company like Junk That Car to sell your older car to.

Research prices

If you want to buy from a private owner, look into average asking prices in the local paper. If they’re going up, wait a while, and buy instead when they’re trending downwards. Take the time of year into account too. For example, you might get a better deal on a convertible when the weather is cold.

Needs and wants

Create two lists before you go shopping. The first list should be your ‘must-haves’, such as having a large trunk for vacations and enough seats for the whole family. Your other list should be a list of things you would like, which should be things you’d prefer to have but aren’t essential, like a bike rack.

Do the sums

Work out how much a particular model will cost you to run after you’ve bought it. Don’t forget to include insurance, fuel, and repairs.


Always haggle. Car dealers are prepared for you to negotiate, and you can get a better deal with some smart haggling. Go in prepared with information on prices at other dealers and the value of similar cars to the one you’re considering.

If you don’t get a lower price, you might be able to negotiate a freebie, like some free floor mats. You could get some money off by looking for flaws like small dents or scratches on the paintwork.

** This is a collaborative post

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