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Tips for Buying a Used Car – Shopping for a used automobile can save you lots of money in comparison with a brand new. Whether or not you’re after an inexpensive runaround or a dream machine you’ve got a number of choice on the second-hand market.

But with murky histories and hard-nosed salesmen, it can be a minefield. This guide is stuffed with high ideas and checklists (we have created printable versions so you’ll be able to deliver them with you) to minimise the prospect of any nasty surprises. High suggestions when shopping for a used car – How a lot a used automotive will cost you will in the end rely upon what car you get. But there are many methods you can scale back the ultimate invoice.

12 months outdated automobiles are MUCH cheaper than new vehicles

The average new automobile has an inventory value of around £28,500. However by the point it is one 12 months old with 10,000 miles on the clock it prices just £21,000 – a discount of more than 27% in the first 12 months. In the second yr the depreciation charge is likely to sluggish by roughly half (so the second yr, this common car would lose around £three,750 in value).

So selecting a year-old model will dramatically slash the upfront price. There are exceptions if you happen to’re selecting a plush mannequin. Manufacturers that hold their worth finest have a tendency to incorporate Mercedes and Porsche – so you will not see too many 12 months outdated luxury car bargains out there.

Revealed: The cheapest cars to run

To save you time and power trying to work this out, automobile experts have already completed this research. You possibly can compare running costs of various fashions, including those you’re seeking to purchase, on several sites, including Parkers and What Automotive?. However, comply with these rules to dwelling in on the cheapest vehicles:

Smaller engines could be cheaper. The choice of a 1.0-litre or a 2.0-litre engine isn’t just about pure horsepower. A large engine will normally burn more gas than a smaller one. So engine size is an important consideration if gas economy is an important consider your decision.

Of course, this is dependent upon how you utilize the car. A small engine is best when it’s used as meant, such as to pootle round town. If a small engine is used a excessive pace, it’ll have to work a lot more durable to keep the automobile transferring – burning more gasoline.

Petrol cars tend to be cheaper than diesel. Diesel engines are sometimes extra economical than their petrol counterparts. However don’t be fooled into thinking this positively makes diesel a better choice. These automobiles are dearer, and they often price more at the pump than petrol.

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Manual automobiles are cheaper than automatic. Switching between gears is extra work – notably to these of us prone to stalling at site visitors lights. Yet whereas automatics take some of the problem out of driving, they come with the next price ticket.

A guide Audi A3 diesel hatchback, for example, costs £20,801. This compares to the automated model, at £22,290 – or an increase of £1,489. But many automatics are more fuel-efficient than their guide counterparts, as they ‘know’ the most effective gear to be in, so you possibly can recoup the additional value over time.

Hybrid cars are low-cost to run, however cost extra to purchase. Technology is enhancing everyday with fashionable hybrids coming in all sizes and styles, from superminis to luxury SUVs. Fuel-economy and low-cost or even zero tax charges make part-electric fashions appealing, like the Toyota Prius. Additionally they have a tendency to carry their value for resale.

But they usually price more to purchase – so weigh up the savings.

Verify CO2 emissions, because it impacts the obligation you pay. Buyers of the most polluting automobiles pay the most road tax. However select a automobile (such as the emission-free hybrid Toyota Prius) that produces lower than 100g of CO2/km and you’ll pay nothing in any respect.

An average family-type automotive, like a Volkswagen Golf, will set you again £30 a yr. See a full checklist of Car Excise Obligation rates plus methods to calculate yours.

Smaller cars are cheaper to insure. Should you’re trying to economize, you’ll need a car that’s low cost to cover. The most affordable to insure are inclined to have loads in frequent, including dimension. Put merely, it’ll value you extra to insure a 4×4 than a small metropolis runaround.

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Cars are positioned in teams ranked between one and 50, using research by the Motor Insurance Repair Analysis Centre (Thatchem). This is based mostly of a spread of info including efficiency, safety features, worth of a brand new model and value of spare parts. The Hyundai i10, for instance, is certainly one of a handful of cars in group one, and thus is cheap to insure.

Check the insurance group rating of the precise mannequin you have in mind earlier than shopping for at Thatcham Research. The upper the number, the bigger your premium is more likely to be. It’s also value checking our Cheap Car Insurance coverage guide to see what the doubtless price is.
All of the above’s essential, but if you wish to nail absolutely the most cost-effective vehicles to run, right here they are (though do note these are all smaller automobiles):

The perfect time to purchase a used automotive

As soon as you have decided what automotive to select, now you could know the right way to get one of the best deal. One strategy to slash costs is to purchase at the proper time.

Sellers have targets to fulfill, with bonuses up for grabs. Usually, these are based mostly on quarterly gross sales, making the end of March, June, September and December a good time to buy. They need to shift vehicles, so can be extra prepared to negotiate and provide engaging finance packages.

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But, should you’re shopping for from a personal vendor, there’s unlikely to be or bad time. Personal sellers do not have targets to fulfill, aside from the worth they wish to obtain. In the event you’re buying this way, keep watch over prices a couple of months earlier than you really purchase – if they’re heading down, you might need to wait. Heading up, and it’s prudent to buy sooner.

For a quiet time, try to avoid weekends, or the beginning of the month, just after payday. A dealership filled with wannabe buyers isn’t a good place to bargain arduous.

In case you’re shopping for privately, it’s additionally price picking your time when other potential consumers might be away. This could possibly be over Christmas, or deep into the summer time holidays. Think about the fashion of car too. Summer season is when drivers dream of shopping for convertibles, making winter a very good time to haggle for a deal on one.

‘What automotive do I want?’ guidelines

Earlier than you begin browsing for the ‘one’, take into consideration what you really NEED from a car. There’s no point buying a two-seater convertible if you’re about to start out a family, so work out what’s practical. Ask your self:

What are my essential requirements? Enough room for the household? An affordable automotive to run? A sporty quantity? Think about what you need…

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Do I want the car to do something specific? This could embody towing a trailer or becoming right into a small space.

Is it for brief metropolis drives or longer motorway journeys? Does it want to have the ability to cruise at motorway speeds without straining?

What’s higher, petrol or diesel? The gas you wish to use could make a giant distinction in the model you would possibly choose.

Do I would like a large boot? Consider whether you need room for things equivalent to sports activities equipment or a pushchair – or if you have to fit pleasant Fido or your meddling mother-in-law.

Do I wish to think about an eco-friendly automobile? If so, a hybrid or electric car could possibly be an option. The price extra to begin with but some come with Authorities grants, eg, the BMW i3 has a £5,000 grant.

Must flog your current car? Selling privately can net you 20% greater than part-exchanging
If you have to flog your current wheels, you’ve got two choices. You possibly can both part-exchange the car at the dealership, the place the seller gives you a worth and knocks it off the entire value of the car you’re shopping for. Or you may sell privately – where you list the car and get cash from the person who buys it.

Half-exchange. This can save a variety of hassle, nevertheless it’s highly unlikely to be MoneySaving. Yes, it stops you having to advertise the automobile or deal with potential consumers, but, and it is a huge but, you additionally gained’t get as much as selling privately. Keep in mind, the vendor will pay less than your automotive’s value so it may move it alongside at a revenue. So weigh up presents carefully.

Promoting privately. That is extra time consuming, but you’re prone to get extra for the car, when you’re prepared to place the hassle in. Options embody labeled itemizing on Gumtree (free), PistonHeads (30-day ad is £11.99), Autotrader* (one-week ad is free for cars underneath £1,000, whereas vehicles over £1,000 can be listed from £36.95) and Motors (12-week free ad). Other options embody selling the car on eBay or Fb.
We investigated how rather more you’d get selling your car privately, and a seek for the worth of several models on Autotrader.co.uk found the price distinction was usually 20% extra selling privately compared with part-exchange.

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