Tips for Buying a Used Car

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Buying a used car can be a bit of a gamble, however, it can also save you a ton of money. Choosing what type of used car you need and where from is not a process you should rush. Take your time and do your research before committing. The last thing you want is to be left with a banger of a car, where you end up spending thousands on repairs.

buying a used car

Here are a few things to remember on your quest for the perfect second-hand car:

What Type Of Car Are You Looking For?

Before you go looking for a car, think about what type of car you will need, what the style will be, model, make, etc. Do your research and take your time with it.

Essentially think about what you need the car for. Is it for driving your family to and from school? Do you need storage for road trips or transporting sporting equipment? Is fuel consumption important? Maybe you are even looking for an eco-friendly car?

When you have the answers to all these questions you will have a better idea of the type of car you need and can refine your search.

Sell Your Current Car or Trade it in

Next, you need to think about what you are going to do with your current car (if you own one). You have two options here.

One is to sell the car privately. You can do this by selling to family or friends, putting an announcement in the local newspapers, or you can sell online on websites like eBay.

The second option is, of course, to trade your current car in to get a reduced price for the car you are buying.

buying a used car

Shop Around

Look around for the best deals. Search online on sites like eBay or Gumtree. Check local newspapers and of course your local dealers. If you find a similar car at a better price, you can always ask the dealer if they could match it to get the exact car you want (worth a shot!).

Test Drive

Before committing to buying a used car, always ask if you can take the car out for a test drive. This will allow you to see if you are comfortable driving the car, how it runs, what the suspension is like, if it’s roomy, or if there is any engine noise or other problems.

This is your chance to inspect the car meticulously.

Do Some Negotiating

Don’t just settle for the price quoted. First, try haggling before you commit to the price.

buying a used car

Ways To Pay

Think about how you are going to pay for it? Your options usually include cash, credit or debit card, or electronic transfer. Paying cash usually means fewer fees. However, you can have more protection paying with a credit card.

Buying on eBay

If you are buying a used car online from eBay or Gumtree. Think about how you will get the car home. You can get free car transport quotes from delivery comparison websites like Shiply.


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  • These are some great tips, my currant car was a second hand one and it is has been amazing so far *touch wood*.

  • Alli Smith

    I usually buy a car that’s two years old. It’s so much cheaper than buying a brand new car that depreciates so much the moment it’s driven off the lot. Great tips!

  • A test drive could really give you an idea of the condition of a used car. It would really help you in assessing the future repair cost.

  • These are great tips for buying a used car. I’m actually in the market for my first car and I’m sure I will go the used car route. I will definitely have to keep these tips in mind.

  • Pam W

    I could have used this post earlier this week. My daughter and son in law’s car was totaled so we all went car shopping this weekend.

  • Buying a used car on ebay? That’s a thing?!

  • These are great tips!

  • Bill S

    These are great tips for buying a used car! Buying a car can be such a stressful process to go through and hard decision to make as well.

  • Buying a used car can definitely save a lot of money if you do it right! I was always too nervous to buy a used car – I don’t have the best luck with those things.

  • Nickida Stephens

    These are some great tips. Thanks for sharing them. I do recommend shopping around and checking sites like Craigslist.

  • These are great tips. And at the perfect time for me. I just started looking for anew to me car this week. I’m taking my time and shopping around, but hope to have one over the next two months.

  • Great advice. In the next ten years we’ll probably be buying our first son a used car, or at least helping him shop for one. Gosh that’s scary to think about.

  • rika agustini

    These are great tips! I worked in a car industry for years, buying used cars is definitely better for our pocket

  • TravelingWellForLess

    Nice tips for buying a used card. Although, I probably wouldn’t buy one from ebay, just seems too risky.

  • Lori Who Needs A Cape?

    Buying used is definitely easier on the budget. I’ll be in the market sometime next year and will be searching online for great deals.

  • Thank you for these tips. We always buy used since it’s a lot cheaper.

  • Chrishelle Ebner

    Great tips. We do not buy new cars. Even one just a few months old is much less expensive than buying it new from a dealer. Wonderful information.

  • Amanda Love

    These are great tips. I’ve never tried buying a used car before and I could use these in the future. It’s definitely important to test the car out first.