Buying a used car, instead of buying new, can be a huge saving. In fact, even a car that is only one year old will be selling for as little as three quarters its straight from the factory price. This is due to the rapid depreciation in value of new cars, something that varies from make to make, so it is well worth doing a little bit of research.
Do your research
In fact, perhaps the best tip when buying a used car is just that – do your research. You should shop around, using sites like AutoVolo who compare prices across dealers and regions, in order to get a really good idea of what is out there. In many ways, there has never been a better time to buy a used car. The internet has such a wealth of available information about car prices that consumers wield much more power than they once did. By looking around, you can get a really solid idea of how much the car you want is worth.
Be willing to haggle
Often, sellers will try their luck with a higher price. This is only natural, after all they’re trying to get the best deal they can too! This means that you should be willing to barter a little and see if you can get the price down. If you know that negotiation is not your strong suit, and that the idea of discussing money makes you awkward, bring along a friend who is willing to haggle on your behalf!
You’ll be amazed the discounts you can get if you are willing to get into a discussion about price. This is even more true if you are able to offer payment there and then – after all a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Set a maximum price, and stick to it
When you find the car you really want, it can be tempting to just say yes to an inflated offer so you can drive away. But this is the moment where you must be brave and stick to your guns.
You know how much the car your after is really worth because you’ve done your research, so don’t cave in.
Having a figure in mind is especially important if you are going to haggle over price, because otherwise you can get so involved in the process you lose sight of your goal in the first place. If the price won’t come down to something you’re willing to accept, don’t be afraid to walk away. This can feel a little disheartening, but in the long run, when you’re driving a great car that you got at a great price, the effort will all seem worth it.
Beyond price – other ways to get a good deal
There are a lot of things besides price to take account if you are looking for a good deal on your car in the long term. In fact, skimping on some things, like a full service history, can come back to haunt you. Often, this kind of saving is a false economy, as in the long run you spend more on running costs than you initially saved on the low price. The same is true for things like fuel consumption and CO2 emissions: although a newer car may cost more, it will probably do better in both these areas, which will save you money in fuel and tax for years to come.
As such, you shouldn’t spend all your time obsessing over getting the lowest price, you should also think about the long term value of the car you buy.