Buying a Used Car

What to Consider Before Buying a Used Car

Buying a car is one of the most carefully thought out decisions you will ever make. Or at least, it should be. While buying a brand new car should be pretty straightforward, the same cannot be said when buying used cars. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a pre-owned vehicle.

Advantages

Low Cost

In most cases, the cost of a pre-owned car will be lower than when it was brand new. A used car will almost always have less value than one that has just come off the production line.

Reliability

Sometimes, a brand new car will have revolutionary features that have not really been extensively tested in the real world. There’s a risk that you will be buying a rather expensive lemon of a car, with one or two issues that you wouldn’t have possibly known at the time of purchase. If you buy a used car, chances are you’ve already checked its reliability, and any potential issues would’ve already presented themselves by then.

Lower Rate of Depreciation

A pre-owned vehicle will lose value over time, but not as much as a brand new one. This makes a second-hand car a better investment, as you can drive it for a longer period of time before it loses significant value. On the other hand, the value of a brand new vehicle drops considerably as soon as you drive it.

More Available Options

With the sheer number of car models rolling off the production line each year, you can just imagine how many used vehicles are out there at any point in time. There will be more used cars on sale than there are brand new ones, and you have so much to choose from.

More Value for Money

You can get a high-end, second hand car for the same amount of money you’d use to buy a brand new, low-end model. For instance, a brand new, bottom-range Ford Fiesta can set you back £10,000. But if you look around hard enough, you can find a used model that has better features, such as the Ford Titanium, for almost the same price.

Disadvantages

Uncertain History

There will always be a risk of buying pre-owned vehicles from unscrupulous sellers. You have to trust that you are getting a car that has not been clocked or tampered with, or has not been written off in a previous, undisclosed accident. Be sure to check a second hand car’s history before buying it. Services such as the HPI Check can tell you if the car has unpaid finance, or if it has been reported as stolen, or if it shows signs of mileage discrepancy. You can also pay to have someone physically inspect the vehicle for you.

No After-Sales Service

Buying a used vehicle requires a little more work than getting a new car from the dealership because you have to liaise with the seller directly and inspect the car yourself. And you usually don’t get any guarantees in case you run into any problems, especially if you got it from a dishonest seller.

Lack of Customization

With pre-owned cars, you get what you’re given. There will be no option for you to order the car to your specifications. And while the exact set up that you want is bound to be available somewhere, finding it when you need it and at the right price is close to impossible.

No Warranty

Many of the cars available on the second-hand market today are no longer covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. If you find one that’s still covered, you still won’t be able to enjoy the full warranty as part of it has already been used by the previous owner. There are, however, car brands such as Kia that make for good second-hand options because of the transferable 7-year Kia warranty that they offer.

Poor Vehicle Condition

You’ll often find pre-owned vehicles in less than pristine condition. The car could smell like cigarettes, or the previous owner might have used it to transport pets. You may even find more than a few dings and scratches. You almost certainly won’t find many used cars in brand new condition.

Sometimes, buying a second-hand car is worth it. Other times it’s not. So do your due diligence, and avoid buying from less than reputable sellers. Always know what you’re getting into before making your decision.

 

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