Where can I buy a used car?
Knowing where you should go to buy a car is important. Here’s our easy guide to the options available and what they offer you.
When intending to buy a car, most people head to the relevant dealership for the car they are interested in. This is a common sense approach and allows you the chance of a test drive.
Many people are more comfortable with the personal touch a dealership can offer and speaking face-to-face with a salesman. This has many advantages as you build a relationship with the person selling the car and you can view several cars at once to decide which suits you best.
When buying a used car, both franchised and independent dealers can offer a great selection of cars. A manufacturer-backed approved used car will be a little more expensive but has the peace of mind of being inspected before sale and most will come with a warranty included for added protection.
Independent dealers can also offer warranties and a wide choice of cars, though the warranty can vary so you need to check the small print carefully. Depending on the standard of warranty cover, and the age and mileage of the car, you could also buy a separate used car warranty to protect you from unexpected repair bills.
Car supermarkets offer a huge choice of used cars at competitive prices. However, the low prices mean there’s little or no margin for negotiating and the trade-in price for your old car will usually be among the lowest.
Private sellers don’t have the overheads a dealer incurs, so they are usually the cheapest option. However, it’s also the riskiest route as you only have the seller’s word about the car’s condition plus any checks you make on the car.
You should always carry out a history check to make sure the car is not stolen or there’s outstanding finance owing on it. It’s also a good idea to have the car checked over by an independent mechanic, such as the AA or RAC.