Second Hand Cars

Buying Second Hand Cars

The math is fairly simple – there are more used cars than new ones. This translates to more choices for consumers buying second hand cars. In this sense the pre-owned vehicles market is larger and more competitive, thus allowing car buyers to enjoy quality second hand units at much lower prices. However, not all used cars are as road worthy as their sellers or dealers may want us to believe. Therefore, due care is needed when buying second hand cars to avoid an otherwise questionable vehicle investment.

Whilst the tendency of most folks is to go for a brand new purchase especially when it comes to automobiles, there are also distinct advantages in buying second hand cars. For one thing, a new car’s market value automatically drops by as much as 10% the minute it is purchased and driven off the dealer’s lot. In contrast, the second hand car market tends to follow general price trends according to the make, model, mileage and overall condition of the vehicle. In other words the market value of a used car would not change as much for several weeks or months as long as proper use and maintenance is observed.

Another difference between buying second hand cars against purchasing new cars is that maintenance for new cars may be limited by its warranty to dealer approved service providers only. These garage services are expectedly more expensive than other repair centres, putting new car buyers at another economic disadvantage. Such limitations usually are not imposed for used cars. At any rate, even if the used car dealer’s warranty specifies a particular garage service, the costs involved are not nearly as expensive as dealer-sanctioned car maintenance shops.

Issues Regarding Buying Second Hand Cars

Apart from a natural affinity to things that are new, there are a few key areas that detract people from the used car market. 

Depreciation – This aspect differs in importance from person to person; it all depends on how the car buyer intends to use the vehicle over time. If the individual is seeking to buy a vehicle for the long term simply to have something to drive around, then depreciation is of little consequence. However, the rate of depreciation and the eventual resale value is highly important for those who intend to replace the vehicle in the short term. In the case of the latter, buying second hand cars may not be the best option.

Insurance – There may be cases where insurance companies may have written-off a used car as high-risk or unsafe for the road after being damaged in an accident. This is precisely why car buyers should prioritise getting a good deal on coverage before finally buying second hand cars; otherwise the buyer can get stuck with an uninsurable heap of junk. Nevertheless, the cost of insurance for used cars in majority of instances will expectedly be lower due to the reduced market value of the vehicle. Those buying second hand cars should consider lowering coverage for collision and shift whatever savings off that to liability coverage instead. Note that some used imports may need modification before becoming entitled for coverage.

Performance – The common misconception is that pre-owned cars perform below standard on the road compared to newly bought cars. However, the fact is that for as long as the vehicle is well maintained, second hand cars can match brand new cars in terms of speed, comfort, mileage and overall satisfaction. It may be true that some used vehicles have sustained damage but in most of these instances, the fault can be repaired and the vehicle restored in good working condition.
Reminders When Buying Second Hand Cars

Once you have decided on going for a pre-owned car, here are a few reminders to guide you before finalising the sale. The objective here is for you to make a well informed decision when buying second hand cars which goes a long way to avoiding regrets later on.

  • Choose a trustworthy used cars dealer. More than the make and model of the car, selecting a reputable dealer takes top priority. Buying second hand cars through a good dealer ensures that you can avail of warranty protection for at least a year. Also, major used car businesses can offer additional services and valuable offers. However, do not buy in based on the deals – make your decision according to the merits of the vehicle.
  • Check the car’s history. Some online dealers provide this service free on their websites but you can also make an independent vehicle history check for about £5 per car. A car history check is important when buying second hand cars because it will reveal how many previous owners the vehicle has had, its service history, financing and insurance status and whether the car has been involved in a mishap.

As a final reminder, try buying second hand cars not older than 3 years old. Otherwise you should secure an MOT certificate. Better if you have the vehicle tested by a professional mechanic for defects and road worthiness. Following these points will help you gain confidence when buying second hand cars.