The used car market can be a bit of a wild west to those who aren’t familiar with buying and selling within it. With so much on offer and the value and worth of certain makes and models forever fluctuating, it can be extremely difficult to land on the best possible deal.
Those who simply steam ahead without having done the right level of research and preparation are the most likely to be fleeced by dealers, who will happily shift cars for over the odds to those who don’t know any better.
That said, though, there are plenty of ways to save money within the market if you know what to look for, and when. The most obvious advice is that you should know exactly the kind of vehicle you need to match your specific requirements – size, body shape, fuel type, etc. – and you should have settled on a definite budget, so that you never spend more than you can afford, or intend to.
If you’re unable to buy cash, car finance is a route to explore, with AA Cars offering an online finance calculator that’s incredibly easy to use, giving you a far better idea of what you could be in line to receive if eligible.
Target Popular Models
When supply outstrips demand, that’s when cars become more affordable. Rather than have an abundance of one make or model available, dealers like to refresh their stock as much as possible, so by looking for a car that has been long established, comes in various form factors and is still in production, you’re likely to find a better price.
Not usually applicable to higher ticket options, it applies more to mainstream manufacturers and their flagship models – the likes of the Vauxhall Astra, Volkswagen Golf, Ford Fiesta, Fiat Punto, who’s ubiquity is at the heart of their appeal.
Time Your Purchase Right
The first tip is to buy out of season, as this is when dealers will be getting the least number of enquiries on certain types of vehicles. If you’ve got your heart set on a convertible, go in the middle of winter while they’re least expecting you, as they’re going to be far more inclined to provide a better price than on a sunny day.
Another time to target is towards the end of each financial quarter, as this is when dealers will have sales quotas and targets to hit, so they will be far more susceptible to haggling and agreeing to preferable deals that they otherwise wouldn’t.