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It usually happens at the worst of times – just a few weeks before Christmas, when you have lots of gifts to buy and other bills to deal with, your old car gives up the ghost. You need to find another and fast – without spending a fortune. Buying a used car is much more cost-effective than a brand new vehicle – you can literally save thousands by opting for something that is just a year or so old. But the world of pre-owned car sales can be difficult to navigate – how do you know you aren’t getting ripped off?
Do Your Research
Before making a visit to any dealerships, research the local ones in your area. If you’re planning a visit a dealer group such as Harwoods Motor Dealers Group, check out previous customer reviews to see what sort of experience people have had there. The Internet is a great tool to steer you away from disreputable places, so use it!
Find The Cheapest To Run
Even if the guide price is low, the car may cost you more than you want if it isn’t cost-effective to run, so always make sure that you have looking into running costs. Sites like Parkers will let you compare with the costs of different models easily. In general, smaller engines will be more economical with fuel consumption – although a lot of it depends on you and how you drive to reduce fuel use as well, so consider if you do lots of short journeys or less frequent, longer ones. Petrol also tends to be more economical than diesel at the pump, unless you drive a lot. And manual cars are cheaper than automatic to purchase, but may be more fuel efficient over time as they know the ‘right’ gear to be in, so there are a lot more factors to consider than just the ticket price.
Check The Insurance Costs
In general, smaller cars also cost less to insure, so if you are looking to save on your household costs, that could be a consideration. Cars are ranked between one and fifty, using Thatchem data. Features including performance, safety, the cost of a new model and the price of replacement parts are all taken into consideration to decide what the insurance cost will be. Always use a car insurance comparison tool to shop around providers as well.
Check The Co2 Emissions
Depending on how much your car pollutes, the cost of your road tax will be higher. There are some models, like the BMW 1 Series, where certain engine options which produce less than 100g of Co2 per kilometre, are zero road tax, although you will still need to register for it each year.
Pick Your Timing
The timing of when you buy can save you a fortune. Dealers work on quarterly targets, so be aware of that when purchasing. They will be under pressure to shift cars by being more flexible on the price or offering added extras or great car finance packages. If you decide to buy from a private seller this doesn’t apply, but come armed with research into average sale prices and conditions and you can often negotiate them down.