A new car will depreciate as soon as it is driven off the car lot, and will generally lose about 15% to 20% of its value each year. This begs the question of whether it ever makes sense to buy a new car.
While buying a used car rather than the latest model could save you a great deal of money, there are inherent risks involved when buying a used vehicle. Before you make a purchase, make sure you do your research and understand your rights as a buyer.
This article will give you some advice on what to consider and look for, helping you to buy your dream used car with confidence.
Where to Buy
When deciding whether to purchase through a car dealership or a private trader, there are a few things to consider. Private sellers will usually sell for less, as they do not have overhead costs to cover and they are usually more open to negotiating on price. On the other hand, the risk of something going wrong is higher as, unlike a dealership, the car will not have undergone a thorough inspection nor will it come with a warranty.
Although the price may be higher, if you have little knowledge about cars, it is best to go through a used car dealer. This way you will have the peace of mind of knowing your car has been rigorously tested, found to be road-worthy and is covered by a warranty. You may save money in the short run buying from a private seller but the prospect of expensive repairs later down the line could end up costing you more.
Inspect the Car
Take your time to thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior of the car. Rain can obscure dents and scratches on the bodywork of the car, so make sure you check it in good weather. Look out for any rust and signs of uneven paint or inconsistent panel gaps which could point to the car having been in an accident. Check that the doors and trunk of the car close properly and the windscreen is free of any chips or cracks. If the headlights have any moisture in them, this could signify a crack or missing light bulb. In addition, check the tread on the tires, which should be at least 1.6mm.
Make sure the car is fit for its purpose. If you have a young family or a child on the way you may also be looking for top quality car seats to install for your child, so there needs to be ample room to fit this in the car. Check that all the electrical systems are in good working order and the engine sounds healthy when you turn the ignition.
Take a Test Drive
Take the car for a test drive to ensure it handles and performs as expected. Only by driving the car will you know how responsive the brakes are, its ability to accelerate, and how easily the gears change if it is a manual drive. You will also be able to detect things such as strange sounds from the engine or smoke from the exhaust.
With these three tips in mind, you can begin the search for your next car with confidence.