A Guide to Buying a Used Car

Most of us turn to the second-hand market when we want to replace our car, and for good reason, as buying new is very expensive. When you drive a new car off the forecourt, you can expect to lose 15-25% of its value instantly, such is the huge depreciation from new to used. If you are about to source your next used car, here are a few tips to help ensure you get good value for money.

  • Buy from a Registered Dealer – In order to eliminate the risk of buying a dud (they are out there), you should purchase a used car from a dealership, indeed many new cars showrooms also sell second-hand cars, which customers part exchange for new models, and finding Canberra used car dealers is easy with an online search. The dealer will always give you a fair warranty, plus they probably know the car from new, and therefore are happy to give you a fair warranty on the vehicle.

  • Know your Budget Limitations – With so many prestige cars sitting on dealers’ forecourts, it is easy to get carried away and end up signing up for 3 years of high monthly payments that you can’t really afford. The head must rule the heart when car hunting, and being realistic will not put into financial trouble later on.

  • Know How to Barter – Even the dealership will barter to a degree, especially if you are interested in a car they took in as part exchange for a new model, and with a little self-confidence, you might be able to save some money.

  • Check Vehicle Service History – Every car has a history of servicing and repairs, which can usually be found in the rear section of the owner’s manual, and ideally, look for a car with a full service history (FSH), as this is evidence that the car has been well looked after. If a car has a sketchy service history, this would warrant a discount on the asking price, but it is not advisable to invest in a car with a less than perfect maintenance record.

  • Pay Cash If you Can – If you have the cash, this can really motivate the seller, and the age old trick of waving a bunch of 100 dollar bills in the air has been known to tip the scales when bartering over price. Of course, this is not always possible, and when you do have to take a finance deal, do shop around, and you might be better off applying for an online personal loan, for very low interest rates.

  • Do Some Online Research – Once you have made up your mind regarding the make and model you would like, do some online research into that car, looking for any quirks like a gearbox issue after a certain number of miles, and by joining online motoring forums, you can get the real story about a model’s reliability.

You do need some patience when car hunting and resist the temptation to take the first decent looking vehicle you see, as there are literally thousands of great cars for sale, and with some careful browsing and a little negotiating, you should end up with a great deal.





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