Many people now prefer to purchase a second hand car rather than buying new. According to the latest research, the average new car can lose up to 19% of its value in its first year of ownership. However, with each successive year, the rate of depreciation decreases significantly, meaning that it makes better financial sense to buy a car that’s a couple of years old. When it comes to where you buy though, there are three main avenues you can go down for the best deal. Read on for a summary of each, along with a few helpful buying tips.
- Car dealerships
These are the most obvious option that springs to mind when you think of buying a used car. There will be plenty of local car dealerships around you, so if you perform an online search this will narrow down your choices. Car dealerships are particularly useful if you know the exact manufacturer and model you’d like, as you can look online at deals in the area, consider your options and the questions you want to ask, before going down there for a test drive and more information. The main problem with these places if that they are more driven by sales and you’re likely to encounter a pushier approach; the important thing to remember is to walk away if you’re not comfortable with the deal.
- Private seller sites
Private seller websites are growing in popularity, and can be a fantastic way of bagging yourself a bargain. Not only are private sellers usually more realistic about what they’ll get for the vehicle, but they’re more open to negotiating on price. Some quick searches on sites like eBay and Gumtree will bring back the sellers in your area, but of course, due to the open-to-all nature of these sites, there are added risks. Remember to stick to these three key rules: always check the positive feedback and look through the comments of previous buyers; stay away from descriptions that have lots of errors, no images or little information; finally, always ask for a test drive and to view the vehicle before committing to a sale, then walk away if you don’t feel comfortable.
- Reputable online marketplaces
Undoubtedly, well-known online marketplaces like AutoTrader are the best places to look if your need for a car is not immediate. They have plenty of different models and manufacturers for a variety of budgets, with cars for sale to suit every driver, but they also list dealerships as well as independent sellers. Plus, they have a more tailored search function so that you can be very specific about your needs, as well as reviews of what drivers thought of that particular model you’ve been wanting. This can help you cut down on a lot of research, as well as point you in the right direction if it turns out that the sporty car you had your hopes pinned on, isn’t quite what you thought.
Where did you buy your used car?