Tag Archive | "buy used cars"

Age Shall Not Wither Our Older Cars.

Older cars are enjoying the strongest demand in the second-hand market as used car dealers hunt for vehicles that will compete best against cheap new car deals. Research has revealed that the impact on the used car demand pattern from low finance rates and discounts to encourage new car registrations has had a marked effect on the used car trade.

Overall trade values across the market are notably stable and – in some cases – rose during the second half of August thanks to restricted volume coupled with on-going solid retail demand. Surprisingly, the thirteen registration plate has had no effect on new car registrations and demand has remained strong in the used car market, although there are now signs emerging of some downward pressure on late plate values.
OLD21 Age Shall Not Wither Our Older Cars.
It seems that, for dealers, the most highly prized cars for retail are older cars in tip-top condition, Particularly in the 3 – 4 years old bracket, which look best value in comparison with newer cars. Here, some trade prices actually increased in the latter part of August as used car specialists worked ever harder to meet demand. The result of this is that one year old car values have depreciated slightly more than their older counterparts. This trend was anticipated by the industry and it is only really now that real evidence of values for late plate cars being more heavily affected than the rest of the age ranges has been seen.

September, coming as it does with the new 63 registration and the boost in sales of new cars, is seen as a pivotal month but it seems that trade values will change little in the short term. Factors that come into play are the likely influx of dealer part exchanges, the attractiveness of new car offers from manufacturers, and the determination of franchised dealers to hit their new targets.

The impact of more stock in the market from trade-ins is unlikely to have any major impact until towards the end of September. New car offers will be strong but may improve throughout the month as some manufacturers chase market share. Overall it looks like the both the new and used car market will remain fairly buoyant in the face of our economic gloom. Maybe things are looking up after all.

Posted in Auto NewsComments (0)

Used Car Buyers Are Playing Safe

Everybody likes an exciting car and most people, given the appropriate funds, would no doubt plump for something exotic and desirable. Alfa Romeo, for example, continually design exquisite cars; sadly though there is always a ‘but’ at the end of the purchase.

With AR there is always that reliability issue at the back of a buyers mind. They say – and can be believed – that their cars have never been better at not breaking down or succumbing to electrical gremlins BUT, if you know the company’s sketchy history in this regard, it will always be a mental niggle and cause for concern.

They are by no means the only car maker with long-standing reputations for unreliability and, in these shaky financial times, what most ordinary motorists want and need is peace of mind. Rising motoring costs coupled with the general astronomic cost of living means that drivers are starting to become wary about used cars and used car dealers are beginning to understand this.

Buyers are often surprised these days by the difference in what they would like against what they can actually afford. Car dealers are now representing what some would say to be rather ordinary cars as having a sort of ‘new credibility’ when it comes to a buying choice.

Gone are the days when the heart could rule the head. Instead, today’s prospective car buyer is looking for very well maintained stock with full service histories, suitable warranties, simple economic servicing schedules and, crucially, a real reputation for being reliable over time. In short – a vehicle they know they can trust.

It’s a sign of the times. Only the well-to-do can afford to take chance on car choice these days. The rest of us will have to make do with the best that we can afford. What you buy may not set your pulses racing but at least you be confident that there’ll not be any nasty surprises around the corner.

Posted in Auto NewsComments (0)

Buying Cars Safely Online

When the time comes to buy a used car the internet seems like the right place to start. A whole army of dealers and web sellers are out there ready to fulfil your brief. Would that it were that simple. In addition to all the many reliable traders there are a goodly number of crooks and rogues ready to scam the heck out of a careless wallet.

The news that Auto Trader will soon cease to sell a paper version of their venerable publication is very much a sign of the times. The printed small classified ad is a thing of the past. Online is where it’s at. Dealers and traders have their dedicated websites and even private sellers are exploring new ways of shifting their unwanted wheels.

The latest research indicates that 74% of used car buyers in the UK are now using the internet as their primary search tool. To make sure they get a good selection they will visit an average of eighteen sites. The trouble stems from the fact that scammers are very sophisticated. What appears to be a totally plausible website can easily turn out to be a front for felons.

Here are a few reminders to stay safe. First and foremost never, ever – and it seems so obvious to mention it yet it happens – buy a car sight unseen. If a car is ‘abroad’ and the seller is looking for a ‘quick sale’ make abundantly sure to verify the sellers’ credentials at the very least. Endeavour to check out the vendor’s history and don’t fall prey to the idea that an ‘advance’ payment will be held in escrow. When paying online it is essential to make sure that the payment page is totally secure and has all the necessary security symbols required.

Shop around. At any one time there are tens of thousands of cars for sale. By comparing prices on a variety of websites the canny customer can assess the best price by make and model. Armed with that knowledge it will be easy to spot a car that seems too cheap – quick sale or no. If it is especially cheap then forewarned is forearmed.

Once a short list of potential purchases has been drawn up then it should be time to do a check on the vehicles’ histories. It will be an extra cost but at least it can be established that there is no outstanding finance or other issues to worry about. Then it will be time for a really thorough test drive and a close scrutiny of all the paperwork, making sure that VIN and VRM details are all present and correct. It is always easy for scammers to rip off the unwary. Don’t let the crooks get away with it.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (1)

Your Used Car Campaign

You know how it is when you really need a pen – you can never find one; or, if you do, it is out of ink: and when you don’t need a pen there are at least six in plain sight no matter where you are in the house? That’s what buying a used car is like. When you are perfectly happy with your wheels you will see plenty of motors around that really fit the bill should you need one soon; but when you do need one all of those great motors disappear like fairy dust and you are left dragging around the dealers for days on end almost ready to settle for second best. That’s life.

What’s needed is a bit of organisation. Due diligence. Plan your car buying campaign with military precision and life will be easier. Did you know for example that the price of identical cars can vary depending upon where you live? Are you prepared to put yourself out to bag a bargain?

Here’s an example from a recent report using a three year old Ford Focus with average mileage as an benchmark. In Scotland, the comparable car could be up to eight hundred pounds cheaper than the equivalent vehicle in London. Wales is cheaper than the West Midlands, Cambridge is the most expensive town in Britain and so on. Would you be prepared to travel away from home to save that sort of money? The more prestigious the car the greater the potential saving could be. It’s a thought. All the information you need is at your fingertips as they hover over the keyboard.

If that’s too much of a stretch then at least be resolutely prepared to work hard in your selected search area. The key points are knowing exactly how much money there is to spend and precisely what it is you want from the car. On the mental options list of the average driver there are items that are essential and items that are either acceptable or superfluous. These things can affect the final price. Why pay a premium for a built in sat-nav if you’ve got a perfectly good plug-in unit at home?

Write your ideas down. The brand, the performance, the economy, the number of seats, the load capacity and even the colour are all relevant to your choice. By targeting your ideal it makes life easier by instantly cancelling out all the also-rans on the forecourts. It might take longer but at least you’ll have what you wanted.

The sensible buyer also consults other interested parties. What happens when your partner sends you out on a search for the perfect family hatchback and you come back with a passion wagon? It doesn’t bear thinking about. This is the nature of planning. All bases are covered. Satisfaction is guaranteed. Until the next time.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (0)

Notes About Buying A Used Car

New cars are great but for many people such a purchase is out of the question. Not that this matters because there are plenty of high quality used cars available to choose from around the two or three year age bracket. Mileage shouldn’t be too high which means there is still plenty of life left for trouble free motoring.

The problem is that it is easy to buy in haste and end up with a car that, for one reason or another, is not quite as appealing as you thought it was. The early thrill of a shiny new motor is replaced with an aggravating sense that it is not really all the car you hoped for.

It might only be small things. Maybe – in your initial burst of enthusiasm – you didn’t notice that there isn’t quite enough seat adjustment to suit your frame. With the current surge in small economical car offerings a new buyer might suddenly find that, on the sort of trip routinely taken, the car isn’t quite up to the job or that the engine at motorway speeds is a tad noisy and strained.

All this points to the need to really ensure you are making the right choice by checking back on old press and internet reviews of the model and taking it for a truly meaningful road test. Past reviews will help the prospective buyer to get a handle on the quirks and foibles of any particular car. On some websites the opinion of owners is often sought and these can be an invaluable source of information.

The test drive is crucial. Don’t allow yourself to be rushed. A car needs time to warm up and be given a decent drive over a variety of roads. This is when issues will start to show themselves. Strange knocking noises from the corners or curious rattling sounds from under the bonnet should make the canny buyer take notice.

Does the power and performance seem commensurate with the type of car? Do all the electrical components work, like the windows or heater / air-con system? Also, it pays to watch the dashboard for any tell-tale warning lights.

In some ways, what’s worse than this sort of mechanical defect – things that can and should be rectified before purchase – are mystery squeaks and noises. Anyone who has ever suffered from small but puzzling noises from behind the dashboard or a dead-leg from awkwardly spaced pedals will know how debilitating it can be. Hatred of these small things can grate until the whole car ceases to be the pride and joy you once saw gleaming on a forecourt. If you want happy-ever-afters then make your choice with care.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (0)

Top tips for finding a great used car deal

Buying a used car can be an exciting experience – when you finally drive it home – but the process can be time consuming and frustrating. I’ve been through it a number of times and ended up with some excellent buys and one very poor one, so now know a little about the pitfalls.

I’ve put together some top tips on how to identify the right car and secure a good deal. They can be summed up as using common sense and knowing the difference between price and value, but read on to find out more.

What do you need?

One of the big mistakes buyers make is to be unduly influenced by a tempting promotion and end up purchasing the wrong vehicle. A car that does not meet your needs can never be a bargain, however low the price.

Think about what you really need the motor for and draw up a list of essential qualities, such as boot space, room for children and their paraphernalia, good for dogs etc. That way you should avoid ending up with a car that looks great without being satisfying to own.

Take a look at used car values

When feminist activist Robin Morgan coined the phrase “knowledge is power”, she probably didn’t have buying a second hand car in mind – but the concept is certainly applicable. Having an idea of the market value of the car you wish to buy and the one you plan to trade in will mean you are in a position to negotiate a better deal.

I use a copy of Glass’s Guide or What Car? magazine as the starting point for research, but there are also a number of good online valuation tools available. Remember that condition and mileage will have a major influence on value, so the figures you find in advance of viewing vehicles should only be regarded as guidance.

Make sure you are realistic when trying to negotiate a price and part-ex value, as demands for thousands of pounds off are likely to be badly received. Dealers have less margin to cut prices on used cars than they do on new ones, so while you should always try to get a discount, do not budget for too much.

Car finance

Working out how to finance a used car purchase can be difficult, but it is worth going to the trouble of doing your research. I prefer to pay cash, but that is not always possible and is not necessarily the best way to do things.

A personal loan from a bank is worth considering, but it may pay to take a close look at the finance packages offered by the car supermarket or dealership you are buying from. Hire purchase (HP) deals and Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) packages can both have advantages.

It is often possible to tailor an HP agreement to suit your needs, so you have affordable monthly repayments over a period of your choice. A PCP can push your monthly outlay down even further, although you need to be aware of the final payment.

Some dealers are prepared to negotiate a lower price if you buy on finance, so even if you have sufficient savings, it is worth at least looking at what is on offer and sitting down with a calculator for a few minutes to work out which is the cheapest way to complete your purchase.

Car checks

My one bad used car purchase involved a vehicle that had endless mechanical problems. I bought it from a main dealer and was told it had undergone a thorough inspection and full service. This was not the case and, although I later managed to get some money back and a discount off repair bills, I wasted a lot of time and had long spells without a vehicle available.

The mistake I made was not organising an independent mechanical check, during which at least some of the issues would have been spotted. I would never buy a car without one now, although all they have done so far is confirm the vehicles I’d chosen at car supermarkets and local dealers were in good condition.

One other step you should take is to organise a car history check – also known as an HPI check – to ensure the vehicle you intend to buy has not been stolen or written off, and that there is no outstanding finance on it. Some used car retailers do this as standard, but make sure you ask to see a copy of the report.

Posted in Auto BlogComments (0)