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5 Top Money Saving Hacks When Buying A Used Car

Never pay more than you should on your next car. Buy your next used car using our top tips and tricks to save hundreds of pounds!

Oct 21, 2020

5 Top Money Saving Hacks When Buying A Used Car

Buying a used car is likely to be one of your biggest financial transactions. Whether you’re looking for a £1,000 runaround or you want to buy a nearly new car, there are lots of ways you can get a great deal on the vehicle of your choice.

Our guide outlines five simple pieces of advice that will help you to get the very best deal on your used car. Keep reading to find out more.

1) Decide how much you want to pay, and stick to it

Before you even look at a range of cars, you should decide on how much you want to spend, and stick to it. If you don’t, you could find that you are quickly talked into paying thousands of pounds more than you orginally wanted to.

It can pay to reduce your maximum spend by between 10 and 20 percent. So, if you want to spend £6,000, tell a dealer that you have £5,000 to spend. If they can’t agree to a deal at this price then you have some money to work with without going over budget.

2) The 60-day rule

Many of the bigger dealers have a 60-day stocking policy. This means that this is how long they keep their cars on the forecourt. If a car hasn’t sold within a couple of months they will often pass it to a car auction to sell instead.

However, if there is a car you are interested in, it can pay to make regular trips to the showroom or check online that it is still for sale. As you approach the 60-day deadline, a dealer may be prepared to offer you a better deal on the car as they will be keen to get it off their forecourt.

3) Do your homework

When it comes to buying a used car, preparation is everything. Mike Pickard, Head of Underwriting at Esure Car Insurance, says: “Spending an hour or two researching the options available before you leave the house could make a real difference to your wallet, particularly in such a strong buyers’ market.”

You should research the various models you are considering and have an idea of what you could expect to pay for a used version of that car.

It also pays to get an insurance quote before you turn up at the dealership. According to Esure, 24 percent of buyers do not get an insurance quote before buying. If you don’t, you could end up buying a model where the insurance premiums are out of your price range.

And if a salesperson persuades you to consider a more expensive car than the one you were intending to buy, obtain a new insurance premium before putting down any non-refundable deposit.

4) Buy the wrong car for the weather

If you want an even greater deal on a used convertible or 4x4 it can pay to buy the car at the wrong time of year.

Moneywise reports that 'last winter when there was a lot of snow, sales of 4x4s went through the roof and prices went up. Conversely, you’ll get a better deal if you buy when a particular type of car isn’t so popular. Cabriolets start to sell as soon as the sun comes out, so think about buying one in October instead.’

5) Consider buying from a reputable AA Approved dealer

Buying a car from an established dealership may be more expensive than striking a deal with a private buyer but it could end up saving you a huge amount in the long term.

Buying from a private seller could leave you with a car that is clocked, has outstanding finance or is simply in poor condition.

“If you buy a vehicle from a private individual, it’s basically a case of caveat emptor,” explains George Marshall-Thornhill, Senior Motoring Researcher at Which?.

“You won’t have any legal rights, aside from taking the seller to court – if you can find them. If someone is bent on selling a dodgy car they’re going to make themselves as scarce as possible afterwards.”

Dealers will often have a wide range of approved used cars that have been thoroughly checked and come with the peace of mind of a warranty.

One way to know you're dealing with the right people is to check whether they are an AA Approved dealership. As an AA Approved dealership, we can guarantee our customers high quality used cars at great prices with the advantage of 1 Year's Free Breakdown cover. You can also rest assured your vehicle has undergone a strict 128-point health inspection before taking it home.

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