The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Secondhand Car

Unless you are fortunate to have more money than you know what to do with, chances are there will need to be some kind of finance plan in place if you want to buy a brand-new car.

A fantastic alternative is to consider investing in a quality secondhand car, and should you choose this route, you need to know what to look out for (and what to avoid). With this in mind, continue scrolling for the ultimate guide to buying a secondhand car.

1. Buy Your Car at the Right Time

Firstly, you may think that, when buying a secondhand car, truck, or even motorhome, it bears no significance whatsoever on the time of year you sign on the dotted line.

However, as secondhand car dealers have specific financial goals and targets to meet and, crucially, bonuses to hit, if you time it right and look to buy a vehicle at the end of either December, September, June, or March, they will be eager to hit their goal and therefore will bend more when it comes to negotiate the price.

2. Ask Yourself the Important Questions

Even if you have always dreamed of a brightly colored, convertible sports car, if you are the proud parent of one or more children, chances are that such a motor vehicle is less than practical.

Make sure you consider your answers carefully to the following key questions:

  • Is storage space important in the back of the car?
  • Will you need to tow another vehicle regularly?
  • Is an eco-friendly car a non-negotiable?
  • Will you be driving mostly shorter or longer distances?
  • Is affordability a top priority?

3. Rules for Looking at a Car Online

Be extra cautious when looking at secondhand vehicles on the internet, and unless you need a car urgently, or else you need a one-time banger to transport something, you must always see, inspect, and ideally, physically drive yourself, any car you see advertised for sale online.

Important rules for online secondhand purchases include:

  • Asking for detailed photographs of both the interior and exterior
  • A full and verified history of the car and its service history
  • Honest and upfront details of any scratches or other blemishes
  • A valuation tool for possible part exchange

If you do purchase a car online, your best bet, should you be unable to drive your new car home yourself, is to contact Shiply USA shipping quotes for a simple and no-nonsense explanation of what you can expect and of course, how much it will cost.

4. Conduct a Full Inspection Inside & Out

Even though there are more than a few ‘dodgy’ secondhand dealers who operate from large garages, you are far more likely to receive at least some kind of guarantee, as a bare minimum, should you buy from a dealer rather than a private seller.

Regardless, make sure you not only check the exterior of the vehicle for rust, dents, scratches, and other blemishes, but also conduct a thorough inspection of the interior of the car too.