Buying a used car can be a daunting experience, especially for a woman. Despite the battle for equality, which has been largely successful, we still experience occasional bouts of sexism when out shopping for a car.
Assumptions are often made that we don’t really know what we’re talking about and are easy to walk over. So we need to do our homework in advance and know exactly what we want so that the only thing taken for a ride is our lovely new car!
With so many places selling cars it can be overwhelming, but if you allow yourself the time and take it ‘step by step’ you can make things a lot easier.
Where to buy?
The first thing you need to decide is whether to buy from a dealer or a private seller. Whilst the lower price of the private sale might look attractive, if things go wrong with the car afterwards you will have no legal comeback at all. Whereas, professional used car dealers, like Unbeatable Cars, offer you security in case something unforeseen goes wrong with your new car after your purchase. Another reassuring factor is that the majority of used car dealers will have thoroughly checked and prepared the car for sale and charge you a fair price based on its condition.
Unless there is a specific car you want, buying privately can be a waste of time. I’ve spent days looking for a specific car in the past, where if I’d contacted a Certified Used Car Dealer they’d probably have had most cars and car types in stock. If you tell the salesperson what you’re looking for, chances are they’ll be able to help you find it.
Doing your homework
It’s very important to know exactly what you need from your new car before you go looking. Perhaps you have a large family, so you need a lot of space? If it’s your first car you’ll need to consider tax and the ever rising cost of insurance. If you know exactly what you need, you won’t get side-tracked by any sales patter that might be used to sell you a car that isn’t right for you. Do you want an automatic or a manual? How many doors and seats do you want? Would you rather have a petrol or diesel engine and which engine size? Location might be the next thing to consider. Do you want the local dealership or are you prepared to travel for the right deal and car? If you find a car that you like online, be sure to phone the dealer in advance to check that it’s still available or you might have a wasted journey.
If you use a professional used car dealership they may offer a pick you up from the nearest train station. In most cases, with some advance planning, you should be able to drive away the same day. Another issue is the dealership’s opening hours. Make sure you pick a car dealership that fits your busy schedule.
Check the car is as good as it looks
An HPI check on the vehicle, which can be done online, will confirm that all is above board. Most reputable dealers will have already done this, so ask to see a copy of it before committing to anything. Have a good check round the car, inside and out, to make sure it is as described. Try out the radio and any on board technology. Take a lengthy test drive and ensure you feel comfortable in it. Take a friend along for moral support. Never be afraid to take your time and ask as many questions about the car as you like, even ones you think might sound a bit silly. It is better to be thorough and ask too many questions than getting the car home and realising that you should have asked something at the time.
Finally, you’ll get a feel for the dealership and the people who work there when you visit. Do you feel comfortable there? Do you feel you can trust them? Do you feel special and valued? You want to know that you are buying a car from a business you can trust in case you need to contact them about the car afterwards. You want to know that they’ll take any concerns seriously and do all they can to resolve the issue for you.
I hope my car buying advice will help you buy the right used car in future and enjoy the car shopping experience.