You’ve ignored that warning light for far too long and the heater might not last another winter. You have to admit defeat and resign yourself to the fact that you need a new a car, or at least a newer version.
When you’re looking to find used cars for sale you’ll no doubt find a huge choice of showrooms nearby. You’ll also, no doubt, find plenty of private buyers, so which route is best for you?
A lot depends on how much you’re willing to pay and if you’re planning on taking out a finance plan for your car or offering a part exchange on an older vehicle. Perhaps you’re hoping to release a little equity first by selling a car or are waiting to get an instant motorbike valuation to free up some money for a larger down payment.
Most dealerships will be able to talk you through the details of arranging finance and providing you have all the paperwork proving you are able to afford the repayments, arranging finance should be a straightforward affair. Many dealerships will even offer you an online calculator to work out what you can get for your money before you even enter a showroom, helping you to plan your loan without over stretching yourself.
For some of us, walking into a showroom, not knowing about cars can be a daunting prospect. You don’t want to pay over the odds and you don’t want to drive off the forecourt with a car that at best is overvalued but at worst could be dangerous.
The answer is to do some research on what to look out for on a used car, particularly on the make and model you’re interested in. There are plenty of car websites that will help you narrow down the essential ingredients to buying used and help you avoid being ripped off or buying something unreliable.
When it comes to buying privately the major advantage of course is that you’re far less likely to pay too much and almost guaranteed to pay a lot less than through a dealership or second hand car dealer.
The bad news is that you stand even less chance of getting your money back if it turns out to be a dud. Again do your research and look for tell tale pointers of wear and tear such as filler and dents. If possible, take someone knowledgeable who can walk around the vehicle with you. Make sure you hear it fired up and listen out for rattling and other unexpected noises.
Choosing a new car can be a minefield and for those of us with limited knowledge it can be hard work deciding what you want and if you’re getting a great deal or the worst deal in history. So, first and foremost, do the necessary research. Figure out your ideal make and roughly how much mileage you’d expect to see. Take it from there and don’t be afraid to go in hard with the negotiations, ready to drive away happy.