Where to go to buy a used car?

There are many places you can pick up used cars for cheap these days. Traditionally there are always car dealers, the trade papers and specialist magazines. However, internet auction sites like eBay have become a popular alternative to these traditional methods. What are the pros and cons of choosing the internet over an established car dealer?

EBay offers excellent opportunities to pick up discounted vehicles but most relies on luck, finding the right car and hoping that a bidding war does not take place and push the price up too high.  There are also pitfalls with using eBay to find used cars. Buyers have to take the seller’s word and although you can ask to inspect the used car before bidding, most people do not bother.

Once you are the winning bidder and the car is yours, this is when all those little knocks, leaks and shudders come to light. Photographs don’t always tell the whole story and the condition of the vehicle can be poorly described, which will leave you with a dodgy car on your drive. EBay now operates a two-week cool off period these days, where the buyer can assess the true condition of the car and register their satisfaction or air complaints.

The benefit of a recognised car dealer is that they offer advice and demonstrate the car and let you inspect and test-drive the vehicle. Many established car dealers now offer “approved used cars” which means the cars have been fully inspected to the manufacturer’s standard so you can be sure of their mechanical condition, mileage and history. Most manufacturers now operate an Approved Used Scheme through their authourised retailers, for examples, you can buy approved used Volkswagen cars from your local Volkswagen dealers. Approved used cars generally come with a period of warranty for your peace of mind and some makes such as Audi offer 12 month warranty on all approved used Audi. 

It is receommended to choose car dealers which are well established and have a good reputation as they will offer better customer services. In addition, reputable car dealers will haggle and can arrange finance, keep you informed of fresh used cars that appear on the lot and talk over the ideal car to suit your purposes and still represent the best option when looking for a new used car.


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