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A guide to buying a used car

The trading of second-hand cars is a very big market in the UK and an area of great discussion (in terms of etiquette and methods). In this article, you will learn the tips when buying a second-hand car; focus will be on the UK market.

In person

The first thing one needs to consider when buying a second-hand car is the absolutely maximum price one is willing to pay for a car and then they can proceed from here. Many buyers will put an ‘o.n.o.’ caveat on the offer. This stands for ‘or near offer’; meaning the seller is prepared to sell for the quoted price or (within reason) the next best monetary offer offered (from their perspective). Depending on the buyer’s financial arrangement and his generosity, this offer can be taken as an invitation to negotiate the price down considerably. If one really wants the car though, this is a risky tactic because there could always be someone who comes in with a better offer (not to mention the fact that the seller could think you were being cheeky).

Second-hand car dealerships

In any technological society, there are a wide variety of car dealerships that will deal at least in part in second-hand cars. From here, people can buy second-hand cars in a professional and organised manner with a lot of choice. There are drawbacks though. Many will feel unduly pressured into buying a car, often at a price they see as unfair because the dealership has gone out of their way to show the customer the car to give a valuation. Moreover, motor traders will factor into their price some kind of commission for themselves in the work they did by selling the car. To this end, many prefer to cut out the middle man so as to speak and buy the car directly from a seller.

What Car?

What Car? is a good way of doing this. This is the self-proclaimed ‘biggest and best car buyer’s guide’ in Britain. It has car news, car reviews, car deals and a huge amount of advice on car costs and general motoring issues. One part of What Car? is exclusively for users to get valuations for used cars up to eight years old. The free valuations are done by a ‘team of researchers with years of experience’ and can be estimated as a dealer price, trade price, part exchange price, private price and brand new price. There are countless other sites which do this too. These quoted prices may then be used as reference points for buying cars as they advertised in shop windows, on social media, to friends or in local papers. Auto trader is also good.

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