How to Choose a Used Car

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Most people decide to purchase used cars because the brand new ones are usually quite expensive. This is reasonable because, in some cases, a buyer can save a lot of money buying a used car instead of a brand new one. However, there is absolutely no guarantee on a used car. They are prone to problems, some of which, in some cases, may not be noticed initially. If done right, purchasing a used car shouldn’t be too scary. Here are a few steps to follow, to do it right.

Set a Budget

The truth is, there are a million and one options for cars of different, brands, designs and features. If you do not set a budget, you would find that it would be very difficult to make a decision because every offer would seem like a very enticing one. This is not a position you want to be in. Setting a budget helps you dismiss some offers without wasting time. If there is some difficulty with setting a budget, you can set an optimum amount and still give yourself some leeway by setting an upper limit.

Consider the Best Brand for You.

Sometimes, the car we want may not be the car we actually need. You might want a car that’s beautiful and big but sometimes, the size comes with some baggage. For example, a big engine would mean a higher fuel consumption rate. Also, some cars have more specialised mechanics than others. This is one thing you need to consider before making a choice.


Before you make a purchase, you need to inspect the car properly. The best and most effective way to do this is to get an auto-mechanic. The mechanic will easily spot errors that you might not. You will also find that the cost of inviting a mechanic to help inspect a car is way less than the cost of fixing the car after the purchase. This is one step that is almost compulsory. The mechanic might also be able to help you bargain based on the state of a car.

Visit Trusted Dealers

Buying a used car is tricky and many times, sellers are looking to exploit the naivety of the prospective buyer. There have been stories of dealers conniving with mechanics to convince the buyer to choose a car that they really shouldn’t be choosing. This risk is greatly reduced when you use a trusted auto dealer. Some dealers are even very specific with the brands they sell. The Sandown-Group, for example, is a trusted Mercedes dealer. So, if you’re looking to purchase used Mercedes cars, they are your best bet. If you are looking for other brands, do some research and find other dealers who are experts on the brands you prefer.

Do a Test Drive

When you’re at the dealership, you really cannot tell how well the car runs from just turning the keys in the ignition or pushing the start button. It is necessary that you insist on a test drive. Take the car out for a few minutes and run it properly. If something doesn’t seem right, in many cases, you can tell.

These are some of the best steps to take when you are looking to buy a used car. However, even after following all these steps, you must always be at alert. Always assume that the seller might try to play a fast one and make sure you do everything possible to ensure you’re not tricked into buying a problem worth thousands of pounds.



A former car magazine editor, Sophie’s blog offers in-depth car reviews, industry trends, and maintenance tips. Her breadth of knowledge makes her posts invaluable for both car enthusiasts and everyday drivers.

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