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What is a used car?

Used cars make up the majority of models sold. Data from the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) states that more than 6.3million used cars changed hands over the first nine months of 2016, but what exactly makes a car ‘used’?

To find more used car tips, take a look at our guide on how to buy a used car and also what to look for when buying a used car. For some great discounts, check out carwow’s car deals page.

What is a used car?

A used car is any car that’s had one or more owners from when it was first registered. Occasionally, they may also be referred to as ‘pre-owned’ or ‘secondhand’ instead.

As a result of being used, they are seen as less desirable than a shiny brand new car. This means a car’s value tends to drop as its age, mileage and number of owners increases.

How do you know if a car is used?

In the UK, the V5 document – its certificate of registration – will state whether or not a car has already had a previous owner. You can usually also tell by the sweet wrappers in the door pockets or dog hair in the boot.

Where can used cars be sourced?

Generally, you’ll be able to find a used car for sale either privately or via a trade seller. Private sellers are simply individuals who are selling their pride and joy on their own, usually on websites such as Ebay or Autotrader. Trade sellers include businesses including dealers and car supermarkets.

Anything else I need to consider?

Just because a car is classed as used in the V5 document, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ever been driven out of the showroom. Some car dealers will sometimes pre-register a new car to clear old stock and meet targets, in which case the dealer itself will be considered the vehicle’s first ‘owner’. So, while pre-registered cars are technically used, they’re essentially still brand new cars – potentially making them great buys.

Save money on your next car

To see how much carwow could help you save on your next purchase take a look at the car deals page. If you’re still not sure what you’d like, take a look at our car chooser.

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