Insider: 2 Top Tips for Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car might be good on the wallet, but it’s not always good with regards to aspects such as performance and history. When you buy off an individual rather than a reputable seller, especially, you never quite know what kind of car you are actually investing in.

In order to avoid buying a rust-bucket of a motor, you need to err on the side of caution whenever you dip into the second-hand market. While you’re at it, be sure to put the two top tips listed below into practice, too.

Have it checked over by a trusted mechanic

No matter how genuine the seller may appear to be, you never quite know what kind of car they are selling you. For all you know, they might just be putting on an act to get you to buy from them, when in actual fact the car that they are selling is not fit for purpose. To ensure that you avoid this, you need to have your potential car checked over by a trusted mechanic before you agree to the purchase. This mechanic will study the condition of the car, check its oil, test its engine, make sure the lights are working, and, most importantly of all, check to see if any repairs need doing.

Or, you should consider looking at a used van for sale or used car for sale that can be purchased from a reputable used vehicle dealer, rather than from an individual. 

If you don’t have your potential new car checked over in this manner, you could find yourself buying what is known as a lemon — a car that comes with a major mechanical defect. By allowing this to happen, not only would you be carless for a time and ripped off in a financial sense, but you’d also have a tricky lawsuit on your hands to deal with going forward. If you do ever, in fact, find yourself in such a situation, then it’s essential that you partner up with a patented Lemon Law attorney right away. Such a professional will strive to ensure that you get the financial compensation you deserve, or even a replacement car.

Learn how to haggle

Second-hand sellers are always willing to adjust their prices, you just have to know how to haggle to ensure that you get the best possible price. In this instance, you should:

  • Know that discounted cars are cheap because the seller wants them gone, so there’s always room for their prices to come down further
  • A classic salesperson trick is to offer a price and then fall silent in the hope that you will fill the silence by accepting their proposal — do not feel the need to fill awkward silences, and don’t budge from the price you wish to pay
  • At the very least, get them to chuck a product or service in for free

The second-hand market is always worth checking out when you’re in need of a new car. By doing so, you might just be able to purchase your dream car for half the price you would have paid if it was brand new. When you do dip into this market, just be sure to remember the above advice.

Featuring my much-missed 2005 Subaru Legacy GT wagon!