Purchasing a car not only gives you a lot of options when it comes to makes and models, you also have to consider whether to buy new or used, online or at a dealership, and how to get the best price. Buying a used car makes more sense for most people. Not only will you save money up front, but you can also expect cheaper insurance rates and a lower level of depreciation. Here’s what you need to know about buying in the second-hand market.


Know What You Want

The first thing you need to do is decide what kind of vehicle is you want. Different types of vehicles will be better suited to certain lifestyles. For instance, if you’re a lone driver, the biggest decision you may have to make is on the type of engine. While petrol engines are improving, diesel engines generally offer better fuel economy, especially over long distances. If you live in the countryside, though, you might favour something that has four-wheel drive and can better handle uneven roads or bumpy terrain.

Where to Buy

In the past, the local dealership was the only place to go when you were looking for a vehicle. Buying cars online is becoming increasingly popular, though, and there are several big independent listings websites to choose from, such as eBay Motors, Exchange & Mart, and Auto Trader. From here, you’ll be able to narrow the search to your preferred make and model, price limit, and the proximity to your area. Before you commit to a purchase, you should always go to the DVLA website and check that all the details, such as the date of registration and when the tax disc expires, match the seller’s description.


Closing the Deal

As with closing any deal, haggling could land you a better price. Check the car thoroughly for any damage or mechanical problems and don’t feel pressured into making a rash decision. If the seller is trying to rush you, it likely means they’re looking for a quick sell. Depending on aspects like the popularity of the vehicle or how long the seller’s had the car on the market, you’ll have more leeway in determining the final price.

A car is a significant investment, even when buying used, so make sure you research the model you’re looking for. If you can afford to be patient, you may be able to find a great deal for a fraction of the price when buying new.