Where to buy a used car | Best4Warranty
- 9 Mar 2022
With employees slowly returning to the office and the country starting to go back to normality, now is the perfect time to treat yourself to a new set of wheels. But before you hit the road in your new machine, not only will you have to decide what brand of car you are looking for, but also where you will purchase the vehicle.
We’ve broken down the pros and cons of different places you can buy your used car.
Franchise dealerships sell and specialise in a single manufacturer’s vehicles.
- Dealing with expert: Your auto salesman will have an in-depth knowledge of the specific franchise you’re thinking about purchasing.
- Approved used cars: You may be able to buy a car through a manufacturer-backed approved used scheme which provides cars that have been through a series of pre-sales checks such as history check.
- Finance and warranty available: franchise dealers will almost always provide some form of warranty or breakdown cover.
- Face-to-face service: someone to answer your questions.
- Everything under one roof from sales to servicing.
- Manufacturers can deal with complaints.
- Most expensive: This level of service and back up doesn’t come cheap, in fact, it can be the most expensive way to buy a used car!
- Tend to focus on newer cars: Small selection of older cars.
- Less choice if a one-branded dealership: If you’re not sure on the brand of car you then you may have to go to multiple dealers.
- Commission driven staff often under pressure to make a sale
Independent dealerships cover a huge range of places.
- Lower price than franchise dealer.
- Not bias to one manufacturer: Stock tends to be newer than the sort of stock you find at a franchise dealer and have a wider range of stock.
- Finance and warranty options available (but can be limited).
- More legal protection and additional services than you would with a private seller or auction house.
- Wider choice of older cars than main dealers.
- Specialist dealers offer expert care for older cars.
- Variable standards for cars and customer service.
- Difficult to negotiate price: dealing with professionals means haggling is less likely.
- Dealers may not have the intimate knowledge of the car you’re buying.
- Main dealers often get the pick of the best used cars.
Car supermarkets have cheap prices and high turnaround, making them attractive for young car buyers.
- Low prices.
- Lots of cars: having a wide choice of cars and fast turnover means you could buy a car and drive it away on the same day.
- Most sites offer finance.
- Concentrate mainly mainstream on models so you may struggle if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary.
- May need to pay admin fee on top of car’s advertised price.
- May offer lower part-exchange prices and warranty.
- Clocks may already be running on pre-registered cars’ warranties.
Buying a car online allows you to look for your vehicle at your own pace, in your own home.
- You are also protected by robust consumer laws which includes a 14-day period during which you can return the car for a refund.
- Paying with a credit card: If you pay for part of the purchase (a deposit, for example), you will get further protection from your car provider under the Consumer Credit Act.
- Can shop all across the UK: Many of these can be delivered to your door.
- Easy to compare prices.
- Low-rate finance
- Not possible to test drive the car.
- Main dealers are more knowledgeable about a particular brand.
- Few cars over five years old available.
- Servicing: You would still need to visit the local dealer for servicing.
Private sales can be a happy hunting ground for certain types of cars.
- Very cheap: prices can be very attractive as they often want to get rid of the old car quickly to make space for a new one.
- Can haggle more.
- Wide range of vehicles all ages.
- Test drive often possible.
- Less legal back-up for buyer: Private sellers don’t always perform the same thorough checks as franchises do.
- Tend to be older cars.
- Can be trickier to arrange to buy as you need to find a convenient time to view and test the car.
- Must make careful checks for information such as the car’s mileage and history.
- Usually need to travel to see the car.
- Inspection: Likely to need an independent inspection to guarantee the car’s condition.
- Finance and part-exchange must be arranged elsewhere.
Auctions can be a great place to pick up a bargain, though they are usually the hunting ground of the trade, rather than private buyers. We’d recommend making a couple of non-buying visits to get a feel of the auction house or take along someone from the trade to help.
- Cheap prices
- Big range
- No test drives: you will only get the most limited chance to inspect any car.
- Admin fee added to price you pay.
- Not a great place for the inexperienced or uninitiated: It’s all too easy to get swept away by the speed and passion of the place and could potentially end up with a bad deal.
- Very little legal back-up if there are problems with the car
- Many cars can be category-N cars (meaning they have suffered non-structural damage such as to the brakes, steering and cosmetic damage.
- Potentially have high mileage or be very old which will make them unsuitable for an approved-used car scheme
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We have worked hard from the outset to provide you with the genuinely best value used vehicle warranty available on the market today, as the nation's favourite warranty provider.
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