If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, then you might be tempted to delve into the used market.
By doing so, you can secure yourself a bargain – and there are several other major benefits to consider, too.
Why Buy Used?
First, used cars tend to be much cheaper than their new equivalents. You could spend half as much, even when other factors are taken into account. As you might imagine, the older the vehicle, the lower the price.
Second, we should consider that most of the depreciation on the vehicle will have already occurred. New cars lose a significant chunk of their value during the first few weeks. By shopping used, you can be sure that your purchase will retain more of its value.
If you’re buying used, then you’ll be able to choose from a much broader selection of vehicles. New cars have come straight from the factory; used ones can come from just about anywhere that cars are driven.
We should also bear in mind that a second-hand car tends to be much better for the environment – unless you’re putting in very serious mileage. When you buy used, you remove the need for a car to be manufactured – a process that is extremely carbon-intensive.
What should you check before buying used?
Buying a used car is inherently risky. This goes especially for cars that have a lot of miles on the clock, and especially for cars that you’re buying directly from the previous owner.
You should insist on an up-close inspection and a test drive before you part with any money. Never buy a car off the strength of a picture – if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is.
Your inspection should take you around the entire exterior of the vehicle. Look for any nicks and scratches – they might point to more serious problems, or more general neglect which might manifest in other ways.
Listen to the sound of the engine as you go for a test drive, and pay attention to the way the car handles. This goes especially for the brakes.
How do you go about buying a used car?
While the biggest bargains are to be found when you shop direct, it’s worth minimizing the risk by looking for an approved used dealer.
Make sure that your purchase is protected by the appropriate warranties, and that the dealership enjoys a favorable reputation. You might also look for a retailer that specializes in a particular brand. Shopping for used Audis in London, for example, is straightforward.
Naturally, shopping from a dealership doesn’t provide a guarantee of quality, and you should still inspect and test-drive the car before you purchase. With that said, you’ll stand a better chance of coming away satisfied, and you’ll have greater recourse to go back on your purchase if you aren’t.