Everyone knows that used cars can be bought from a variety of different sources; for example, the previous keeper of my last car was my wife! But unless you are buying a car from a close family member, and you know that it has been well looked after by them, how do you know whether you are getting the best bang for your buck?
All too often, people buy used cars and soon discover, to their horror, that they have bought a lemon! In this blog post, I will discuss the various popular ways to buy a car in 2014, and help you to choose the right source for your next pride and joy.
One of the most-popular sources for used cars are private sellers. These are essentially individuals that are selling their cars for the purposes of raising cash to pay towards new vehicles, or for other purposes.
Although you are far more likely to get a bargain buying from a private seller than any other source, the downside is that private car sales are inherently riskier.
Unscrupulous traders pose as private sellers in order to offload problem vehicles, and avoid the legal obligations that car dealers and traders must adhere to by law.
Advice: unless you are buying a banger, my advice is to steer clear of private sellers and concentrate only on proper trade sellers.
Image obtained from Flickr
Another traditional source of used cars is car dealers. Regardless of whether they are a small, independent concern or a multinational chain, they all operate in the same way.
Car dealers have forecourts and showrooms where the cars they are selling can be seen on display and taken out for a test drive.
Salespeople are on hand to persuade you to buy those cars, with some displaying pushy sales techniques while others operate in a more-professional manner.
Advice: you get more legal protection buying a car from a dealer than you do from a private seller. Make sure you get recommendations from friends and family before approaching specific dealerships.
If you are familiar with the way car dealers operate, but you prefer to take your time browsing the different cars on offer without being hounded by sales reps, you should check out some car supermarkets such as Sandles car supermarket.
Car supermarkets are essentially much larger versions of car dealerships. There are more cars in stock, and the physical size of each car supermarket is often significantly larger than standard car dealerships.
The great thing about car supermarkets is that you can often get yourself an amazing deal on nearly-new cars, or even pre-registered stock off-loaded by main dealers – saving you thousands in many cases!
Advice: car supermarkets provide the same facilities as traditional car dealers, such as financing, extended warranties and, in many cases, servicing and repairs. Do some research before visiting a car supermarket, so that you have an idea on the likely prices you will have to pay for your next car purchase.