For many of us, a car is one of the most expensive purchases we will make, usually second only to buying a home. However, unlike property, buying a new car straight off the production line will see our investment fall as soon as we drive it away from the dealer’s forecourt thanks to depreciation.
Buying a used car is one way of getting the vehicle you want without paying over the odds for it. We have teamed up with cars.com to share some things to look out for that will help keep the costs of buying a second-hand car down without compromising on safety or quality…
Know the best time to buy
The best time to buy a used car might not be right now. Most car dealers have quarterly sales targets, usually every three months from the start of the year. The dealers will be keen to close as many sales to meet their targets time it right and you can often negotiate a far better bargain that you would otherwise be able to do.
Don’t be embarrassed to haggle
The price you see is not the price you have to pay. Sellers, whether private or through a dealer, are always open to offers. If you don’t ask you won’t get. What do you have to lose?
Think long-term cost
When deciding which used car to buy do not just take into account the cost of purchasing it but also its running costs. Manual cars are often cheaper to buy than automatics and cars with smaller engines will be cheaper to run. Do not forget to check the CO2 emissions too. A less efficient car will see you paying a higher road tax. If possible, go for the option that creates the least pollution.