Used Car Buying Guide

  • Posted 26 Nov

Used Car Buying Guide

The process of car buying can be an overwhelming one, as there are so many brands, makes, and models to choose from. Used car buying can sometimes be more difficult than new car buying as well.

We’ve outlined some key tips that can help you buy a vehicle that meets your need and works well, as opposed to buying a money pit on wheels.

1. Research first

Do some research in the type of car you want to purchase.  Think about things like: what type of car do you need? Coupe? Sedan? Four wheel Drive? Are their any special modifications you’ll need, such as a larger engine or special wheel types? Use websites to help you figure out what options might work for you and your circumstances.

2. Buying from a private individual

In most cases, buying a used car happens between private individuals as opposed to car dealerships.

When buying in this situation, you need to ask the seller these questions:

  • How long have you owned the car?
  • Has the car had several owners?
  • Do you actually own the car?
  • Why are you selling?
  • Has the car ever been in a crash?

The more you ask, the better position you’ll be in to make an informed decision. This process will give you a sense of the history of the car, and an idea of the potential problems you may face down the line.

For example, if the car has a lot of mileage, it may mean that a lot of things will need repairing in the near future. Low mileage can mean the car is in better shape.

As a general rule, you want to buy a newer car with a low mileage.

3. When to buy

Always try to buy on sunny days. This may seem bizarre, but there’s an important reason for this: rainy and cloudy days can hide imperfections on the exterior of the vehicle. Remember, with any purchase of a used item, a huge factor is condition. Being able to see the vehicle properly is essential to making an informed buying decision.

4. Bring somebody in ‘the know’

If you aren’t a mechanical expert, it’s always a good idea to bring somebody who knows cars, car buying and even car finance.

If you don’t know anybody with such expertise personally, think about getting an independent inspection. Reach out to the nearest RAC, as they often have local people available to do this for you.

5. Vehicle inspection and final details

Make sure that the vehicle has a roadworthy certificate that’s no more than 30 days old. Make sure the car hasn’t been stolen, that no money is owed on the car, and that it hasn’t been in numerous wrecks either.

If you’re buying from a private individual, check with your state authority about the vehicle. This will tell you if the car was stolen, or if there ‘s anything illegal attached to the vehicle.


Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be better along in the process of buying a used car. If you need help sourcing a good used car or need help with your car finance, contact our team today.

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