Buying a used car. We all have to do it at one point or another, and a lot of the time we won’t have the slightest clue what we are doing. Though not having an idea of what you want doesn’t really matter if you are getting a chocolate bar, it can have extremely negative ramifications when buying a used car.

So often, a person will step into the chaotic world of used car buying without first assailing themselves of the rules of the game. But you are not like them! You are reading this article and in return, we shall bestow upon you the knowledge you need to master the used car world! Read closely, make notes if you have to, anything that you feel will help you.


buy used car


Know what you need

The number one reason why some poor souls come out with a silly car that doesn’t meet their demands is that they didn’t assess their needs before entering the place. Before you go anywhere, sit in your room and make a list of what you know you need. This includes the number of seats, quality, size and what type of petrol you need. These are the sorts of things that are imperative, that you can’t live without.

Now on the other side of your paper, write a list of the things that you want. Include things like preferred color, radio or CD player, preferred mileage, boot space and things of that nature.

Once you fill out this double-sided list you will have reminded yourself of your needs and desires when it comes to buying a car. Read through the list before you go to any prospective sellers, even take it in with you just to remind yourself. If the car you are looking at has anything surplus to these requirements, think very carefully before you buy.


Use the internet

Though it always helps to look at a car physically before you consider buying it, the internet can be a great tool when you’re looking initially. You can locate lots that might have some potentially good buys in them. You can also contact private sellers to ask for more info on certain cars and even arrange a date to see the car of your choice.

It goes without saying that assessing a car in real life will always be much more valuable than looking at it on the internet, but let the web be your first stepping stone into buying a used car.


Take your time

Very important to remember. Just because you’re not buying a Lamborghini, doesn’t mean you are not worth their time. Buying this car is incredibly important to you, and that is all that matters. So when you go to a potential buy, take a good long look inside and outside the car. Ask everything you possibly can. Don’t be afraid to take it for a test drive, a drive around in it can really help you to find out if it’s the car for you or not.

If you really aren’t sure, ask for some time to think about your decision. Don’t let them rush you into a decision if they say ‘well we can’t promise it’ll be here very long!’, just smile and say you’ll contact them when you come to a decision.

Time is your most important tool; it is what separates you from those coming out of a potential buy with a monster truck when all they needed was a four-seater hatchback.


Locate trusted car sales locations

There are a few websites that are the best place to try and locate a trustworthy used car. AutoTrader is a site that is trusted the world over for having trustworthy sellers and great feedback. One of the things you want to keep an eye out for is good aggregators. They compile information from a multitude of used car websites in one place. AutoList is one such site. It pulls in information from a multitude of websites, so you don’t have to spend the time trawling through loads of them to find the car you want.

Though these are great sites, for every good one there is about 4 bad ones so keep your wits about you when you are searching. Stay focused and be critical of each website you see.


Look at specs

It’s so easy to look at a car in a picture and say ‘That’s the one I want!’. But, in reality, it doesn’t work like that. Cars are intricate machines and you need to know absolutely everything you can about said machine before you dive into the driver’s seat. This is where specs come in.

If you are liking the look of a car, make sure to locate its specifications. This is the detailed information about the car. But don’t worry, specifications are usually shown in bullet points or short notes. You’ll be able to check out how long the cars been owned, how many miles it has driven and what sort of quality it is in. All very important information when it comes to handing over your hard-earned money.


Check the model out

It’s really important to get the specs of the specific car you want to buy. But what you also want to do is check out the make of car itself. You can look at reviews of the car online or head to a site like AutosFeed to get the low-down on how well the model of car has done compared to other cars that may be its competition.

You may find that even though the specific vehicle you’ve been looking at is in good condition, the car itself is quite disappointing overall. You need to be able to trust the car itself, as well as the brand it is. Otherwise, you want to get exactly what you want when it comes to buying.



Disclaimer: Our service is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as financial advice. We help our readers make informed decisions via impartial information and guides. Where appropriate, we may introduce partner companies who can provide services relating to financial products.