Buying a used car (or second hand car) is a great way to save money when it comes to upgrading your automobile. Buying any car these days isn’t cheap but brand new cars are often overpriced and they always lose a huge amount of their value the second that you drive them out of that showroom.
However, buying a used car comes with its own downfalls and risks. It is possible that you might purchase a car and a few weeks later, realize that the car wasn’t worth the amount you paid or realize that it has a number of mechanical problems which will have to be fixed at a cost to you. There are often more serious problems too.

So, if you are looking to save money purchasing a used car, whilst also ensuring that you get a good deal, then take a look at the tips below as they will be sure to help you.

#1 – Buy your car from a used car dealer

Now, this probably goes against everything that you have been told so far but there is good reason for this. Yes, buying from a dealer is often that little bit more expensive than buying privately but buying from a dealer will ensure that you have more protection should something go wrong with your car.

Obviously, you need to make sure that the dealer you are buying from is trustworthy and well established. Although it might be a little bit more expensive initially when you buy from a dealer than privately, you could save thousands in the long run.

You should also note that purchasing from smaller or franchised dealerships might get you a better deal as these are often more flexible when it comes to pricing.

#2 – Ensure that you check the warranty

Most used cars will come with some kind of warranty. It could be a warranty of a year, two years or if you’re lucky, even longer. This is one of the areas that you could be making a costly mistake. Let’s say that the used car only comes with 6 months warranty; you might want to ask yourself why. Could it be that the car is likely to have problems after this time and set you back another few hundred in repairs?

By making sure that you check how long the warranty lasts and what it covers exactly, you are almost certainly going to save money in the long run. The longer the warranty, the more security you have and the less you have to fork out yourself if you run into any problems within that time frame.

#3 – Inspect and check the car

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to saving money on used car purchases. If you are knowledgeable about cars, then you will find this one easy.

When you’re at the dealership looking at the car, make sure to give it a good once over. Look for any signs of deterioration or problems that the dealer might not have been too honest amount. You will be able to find small problems with most used cars and often, flagging these up will result in being able to haggle a slightly lower price out of the dealer/seller.
If you aren’t that knowledgeable about cars yourself, take along someone who is. Also, realize that there are online services that can help you track the history of used cars if they’re being sold by dealers.

#4 – Shop around online

Over the past few years, more and more online car supermarkets have sprung up which allow you to really shop around for used cars in the comfort of your own home. Because there are so many of these sites, you can take a look at a huge amount of them and check whether the model you are looking for is cheaper on one of them than others.

These sites allow you to look at a huge amount of cars without even having to leave your home and buying them is usually just a few clicks away too. It is important to remember however, that whether you purchase online or not, you should always inspect the car in person before you buy and check the warranty too. Delivery costs should also be taken into account here too as these can be quite costly.

#5 – Haggle

Ok, so this one might be the oldest method ever when it comes to bargaining but it still works wonders today. You, as the customer, hold a huge amount of bargaining power. Used car dealers often have a lot of the same models in stock and the sooner they shift them, the sooner they can make room for more cars. This means that you can often get a bit of a bargain if you just ask and stick to your guns.

As well as this, a lot of car dealerships will employ salespeople that work on a commission basis. This is a huge advantage to you as they are often willing to take a small cut in their own commissions to finalize a sale. Remember, the bottom line is that if you don’t like what you see, there’s plenty of other car dealerships you can buy from and you are more than happy to take your business elsewhere.

Josh regularly writes on the subjects of car finance and car insurance. He also writes for the website.

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