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One way to save big when it comes to transport is buying a used car. Data shows that a brand new vehicle loses 20 per cent of its value as soon as it’s driven out of the showroom, and up to two thirds of its value by the time it’s three years old. With manufacturers offering increasingly extended warranties, buying used often means avoiding the depreciation cliff-edge but still getting a quality car which will will serve you well. When you choose to buy pre-loved, you’re making a smart financial choice, as well as one which is kinder to the planet. The reasons for buying a used car all add up – but how do you make sure you secure the best price and avoid getting ripped off while purchasing?
Think Nearly New
Used doesn’t have to mean some old rust bucket – there are plenty of cars just a year old that you’d be hard pressed to tell from new. Car brands tend to run an ‘approved used’ scheme in which vehicles are typically in pristine condition, with very low milage and come with special warranties. They’re more expensive than some second hand cars but the experience isn’t far different from buying new and the quality is assured. It’s a great option to consider if you did want a new vehicle but also want to avoid the value drop of the asset. You could also look into ex-demonstration models which have been used for test drives or pre-registered vehicles – these may never even have been driven! Dealers pre-purchase them in but when they don’t sell there can be big reductions. You may not get very much choice when it comes to things like colours, but these vehicles can be a great bargain. Check the build year of the car though, as it’s often the year before the plate. This can have a small impact on future resale value, but it’s still a great way to essentially purchase a new car for a used price.
Choose A Trusted Retailer
There are plenty of unscrupulous characters out there, so always make sure to shop with a trusted retailer who has been in business for a long time. Thankfully, in a world of online reviews it’s very easy now to connect with other customers and seek out a good one. Places like California Group will work with your needs and budget to find a vehicle which works for you – just prepare to be a little open minded about the exact make and model, as something which is ideal may not have initially been on your list for consideration.
Think About Running Costs
It isn’t just the purchase price you need to consider when you’re trying to save money – it’s the running costs of the car you’re going to buy. A little homework can save you a lot of financial headaches later on. Consider a smaller engine – a 1.0 litre tends to be much more economical with fuel. Unless you really need it, avoid gas guzzlers with large engines. Similarly, diesel cars tend to be cheaper to run than the petrol equivalent, but the car itself may be slightly more expensive to purchase plus they do cost more to fill up at the pump, so it all depends on the amount of driving you do. Or you could even consider a hybrid car – more used ones are now coming into the market. The technology is constantly improving, and although they are more expensive to buy they also hold their value better for resale and offer low or zero tax rates.