Tips for buying a used car

You stop dead in your tracks. You’ve seen your dream car, gleaming and shiny – a brand new model sitting proudly in the dealership forecourt. 

But with such an important transaction, you need to use your brain, and not just listen to your heart. And the brain will tell you that if you want a smart financial investment, you should look elsewhere.

That’s because new cars tend to depreciate rapidly – almost immediately after purchase. The worst case scenario is that you’ll be unable to sell the vehicle for anywhere near the amount of money you originally paid for it. A costly move.

For a more reliable financial investment, choose a used car instead.

Depreciation works in your favour when you buy second-hand. As cars lose value so quickly, you’ll be able to find relatively new, used models at great prices. This could save you thousands – but how do you make sure you get a good deal?

Four essential tips when buying a used car

When you come to buy your used car, you’ll need to make sure you:

1. Shop around and take your time. Don’t become pressured into a transaction.

2. Take a look online for sales comparisons of the type of car you’d like. You’ll get a much better idea of how much you can expect to pay.

3. Avoid the temptation of simply buying a used car without having had the opportunity to examine the vehicle in closer detail. Make sure you carry out a thorough visual inspection of any car before you go ahead and buy it.

4. Take it for a test drive as well. This should help you get a better idea of whether you want to make the commitment.

For further tips, check out the AA’s comprehensive list here.