Your opinion on the second-hand car market tends to depend on your past experiences with used cars or your budget. For many it’s a cost-effective option in terms of being able to buy yourselves a “new” car with the budget or car finance options you have available, while for others it’s an option if you just really like the look of a car you might have seen on a forecourt when you drove or walked by.
While many see the used car market as a sign of downgrading from their previous vehicle that they bought directly from the manufacturer with no miles on the clock, no previous owners, no problems to sort out and an engine crying out to be run in, the time has come for people to get smart with their investments and the motoring industry is no exception.
Used cars aren’t a sign of financial difficulties, they’re a sign of people who know what cars they’re looking for in terms of things like reliability, economy and emissions which may once have sounded dull but now are among the most important factors for anyone looking to buy a car.
A brand new car might look shiny and new, it might have all of the latest features and gadgets, and it might help you to show off a bit to your friends, family and co-workers, but they also come with a hefty price tag. Even if you’re in a position where you don’t need to take out car finance or a bank loan to pay for it, there are more fees to pay with the tax, insurance and fuel and many end up selling their new cars soon after because they just can’t afford the running costs anymore and then the depreciation is another blow.
It’s true that the used car market comes with its fair share of wrecks, and many have been affected when they’ve bought a second-hand model only to spend more time and money getting it repaired than driving it.
At the same time, however, there are people who have had the opportunity to buy genuine bargains all because, as mentioned already, people have been forced to sell new cars because of the running costs and those looking for a used car have jumped at the opportunity to buy a model that might not even be a year old at a fraction of the original price.
One of the best ways of ensuring that you find a bargain rather than something that you should stay away from is to speak to a friend who either knows about cars, or who actually works with cars – perhaps as a mechanic. By taking them along to see the car you’re thinking about buying and getting them to come on the test drive with you, you can get first-hand experience with the car and they can used their trained eyes and ears to identify any potential issues.
If this isn’t an option for you then speaking to owners of the same make and model online can be particularly beneficial. With more and more people now tech-savvy, there are reviews and comments from people all over the Internet explaining the best and worst points of every car so you can find out for yourself if there are any underlying issues that might develop over time, or if it’s on the most reliable list.
At the end of the day it all comes down to your own preferences and your budget. There is no point taking out a loan or car finance just because it’s a certain model – you could end up having to take out another loan just to get it repaired! Instead, decide what you want from the vehicle in terms of reliability, space and economy and stick to your guns. There genuinely are some great deals to be found on used car forecourts if you do your research.