Tips for buying a used car

Happy young couple with keys from new car after automobile purchase in dealer showroom

Navigating the used car market can be tricky as it is so large. Many motorists will rush into a purchase to avoid the stress of finding the right car, but by following a few steps, it can be easy to find what you are looking for and for a fair price.

Purchasing a used car can be a stressful process. The second-hand car market is enormous which means that there is great variety, but it can be difficult to navigate, and you often hear horror stories of scams or a car breaking down just after the motorist has made the purchase.

Fortunately, there are a few hints and tricks to navigate the market to find a high-quality automobile for an affordable price.


The internet is a superb tool for researching used cars. Look online for information on different cars, if there are any recurring issues with the automobile you have in mind and to find out what the average asking price is. It allows you to enter negotiations with confidence and establish a budget.


It may be tempting to go to a private seller as often this is the cheapest route, but it can also be dangerous as there are a lot of fraudulent sellers out there. Instead, look for reputable dealers in your area. In many cases, there may be a specialist dealer of the manufacturer that you are looking for nearby like Mercedes Guildford used cars, for example.


Always view the vehicle in daylight and carry out a thorough inspection of the bodywork, wheels and tyres, under the hood and inside the car. There is advice on how to do this online. You could also get a friend to provide their assessment, or even hire a mechanic to check over the vehicle.

Test Drive

The test drive is about checking that everything works in the car and that you enjoy driving it. Make sure that gear changes are smooth, that the brakes are responsive and that all of the technology works correctly.

Vehicle History Report

Many used cars have a hidden history which could include outstanding finance, reported as stolen or previously written off. The only way to uncover this is with a vehicle history report – this will highlight any issues and provide you with complete peace of mind.


If you are happy with the car and want to make a purchase, always negotiate the price as you could make huge savings. Haggling intimidates many people as it is not practised much in this country, but you simply need to be friendly yet firm and have a clear limit in mind. Do your research beforehand, so you know what the average asking price is and let the dealer know that you have done your research.

Buying a used car can be daunting as it is such a large investment and the market is so large. Fortunately, the above tips will help you to find the perfect can and negotiate a fair price.

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