Latest Motoring News

Used Car Options

posted on Sep 28 2016 by Keith Langford

Used Car Options

Buying a used car is always a stressful time as most customers feel as though they are at a big disadvantage to the 'professionals' in the industry. The TV series 'Right Car - Wrong Car' began to lift the mystique that has always surrounded the art of price negotiations and started to level the playing field for the inexperienced buyer. 

The more information that is available to the unsuspecting customer the better, so here are some more tips on the choices available when buying a used car.

  1. First there is Retail Purchase from a franchised dealer, who will also sell new cars, an independent dealer who will specialise in used cars or a car supermarket which probably has a mixture of both new and used vehicles. The franchise dealerships tend to have higher standards as they have to maintain the manufacturer's reputation and provide a full aftersales service. Many operate used car schemes backed by warranties and pre-sale inspections. It is not surprising then that you will pay top prices at these outlets.
  2. Independent dealerships can join the RMIF (Retail Motor Industry Federation), which is a useful guide to a reputable company.
  3. Most dealers will check the credentials of their cars through a service such as HPI that will identify if it has been stolen, an insurance write-off or is still subject to outstanding finance. The advantage of Retail purchase is that part-exchange will be available, along with full aftersales services and you will be legally protected. The disadvantage is that the cars will tend to be the most expensive. So, shop around, especially for better finance deals.
  4. Another option is Private Purchase, which tends to cover mainly older used vehicles. Prices are significantly cheaper - at least 10% - but beware. 'Dodgy dealers', posing as private individuals, are fairly common in this market.
  5. Ask as many detailed questions about the car as possible. If the answers come back without hesitation or evasion then you are probably talking to a private owner. You can save significant money here, but you'll have no legal protection if things go seriously wrong.
  6. Get an HPI and inspection check done yourself.
  7. Finally there is Buying at Auction, which is the most risky option of all. The better cars usually come with a warranty or an engineer's report, but, they will not be 'prepared' like dealership vehicles.
  8. Set yourself a price limit and stick to it. You could pick up a real bargain, but beware of cars offered 'as seen' or 'with all faults'