Get our newsletter

How to buy a used car

For many car buyers, buying a used model might be a more sensible option than a new one. Not only is it simply more affordable, but it’s often quicker, too – in many cases, it’s possible to drive away in your latest pride and joy the same day. There are a variety of ways to buy a used car, each with their own plus points, so which works best for you?

See carwow’s latest deals on our car deals page. Get help picking your next car using our car chooser tool or, to get an idea of how much your new model could cost per month, check out our PCP calculator. If you’re on your way to look at a car, check out our guide to what to look for when buying a used car.

Buying a used car from carwow

The reasons to buy a used car through carwow are similar to buying new – there’s plenty of choice, the process from start to finish is easy and you could save yourself cash without needing to haggle your own deal.

The sheer number of dealers signed up to carwow means there’s an endless amount of stock to choose from, increasing your chances of finding the exact make, model, colour and trim you’re looking for. With some dealers offering home delivery options, you might not need to visit the dealership at all.

Every dealer on carwow is committed to offering their best price upfront, so prices are certain to be extremely competitive. carwow also lets you see reviews for dealers next to each other meaning you can be sure you’re going to get good service from your chosen dealer.

Buying a used car from a main dealer

There’s one crucial difference between buying through carwow and placing an order directly through a dealer – if you want to talk yourself to a better deal, you’ll need to do the legwork yourself. Haggling can sometimes be a tricky task when you’re up against someone whose living is based on being a strong negotiator so, unless you’re very confident with numbers, there are quicker and easier ways of getting a great deal.

Otherwise, the benefits remain similar to buying through carwow – there’s plenty of choice and all cars should be maintained to a high standard, be in excellent condition overall, and generally benefit from a warranty.

Buying a used car from a car supermarket

If you’re unsure what you’d like to buy – or if buying from a specific brand isn’t a concern – then car supermarkets are a great place to look at a huge number of models under one roof or forecourt.

In general, car supermarkets sell cars younger than three years old and with low average mileages – this way, all their stock is covered by at least some manufacturer warranty. This means, if there’s a problem with the car, you’ll need to take it up with the manufacturer, not the supermarket. In other words, if you’re after the reassurance that comes from buying from a dealer, it’s best to avoid the supermarket route.

Buying a used car through a private sale

There are two main ways to advertise a car privately – either through a classified listing site such as AutoTrader or Gumtree or via an online auction site such as Ebay.

Buying privately presents plenty of risks. Should anything go wrong when buying from an individual, there’s far less fallback than if you’d bought through a carwow dealer. Of course, you still have basic rights if you’ve been mis-sold a bag of bolts but, if you buy a car which – to the best of the seller’s knowledge – works fine but subsequently develops an expensive fault, there’s not much you can do about it.

There are some benefits to buying this way, however. Considering the relative difficulty, there’s a fairly good chance you’ll be able to negotiate a cheap price. Equally, if you’re looking for a very cheap used car, these methods are advisable because the breadth of choice will be greater. Before you go through with any purchase, ensure the car comes with plenty of service history and pay for a history check on the car to make sure it isn’t subject to any outstanding finance or has been involved in an accident in the past.

Buying a used car from a car auction

Buying from a car auction is something that should only be left for the serious buyer. Cars that roll across the auction block will come with little or no warranty and, because there’s little time before the auction to view the car – let alone drive it, it can be a risky method if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for and what to avoid.

You’ll most likely be bidding against people within the motor trade, so there will often be tough competition for the best cars, too. There is certainly potential to get a great deal, but there’s also a chance you’ll spend your hard-earned money on a complete dog.

Other things to consider

Regardless of which way you choose to buy, it’s really important to do your research first. Before you approach any dealer, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want or what you need. Fortunately, not only can you make life easier by choosing your next car through carwow, but our site is full of handy guides to help you choose what you need and bust car jargon.

Save money on your next car

Head over to our car deals page to see the great savings carwow could help you get. For more options, use our handy car chooser tool or get an idea how much your car could cost per month with our PCP calculator.

comments powered by Disqus