So, the time has come for you to buy a car. It could be your first car if you have recently passed your test (well done you), or you might be looking to buy a motor to replace your current one, for whatever reason.
And in the art of frugal living, you might be considering buying a used car instead of a brand new one. It makes sense, especially if you don’t have money to burn or are reluctant to take out a loan to afford a premium purchase.
Still, while used cars are cheaper than new cars, you are still looking at an expense, both at the point of sale and down the line. Thankfully, we have some money-saving tips to lessen the damage to your pocket.
#1: Don’t be tempted to buy something dirt cheap
To save as much money as possible, you might be tempted to buy the cheapest car you can find. And that’s fine, assuming it is road-worthy. You need to pay attention to the warning bells ringing in your head, as while the car might be attractively priced, there may be a very good reason for this.
When buying from a private seller who doesn’t give a damn about legalities, you might end up with a potential death trap of a vehicle, or something that is going to cost you more in the long-run.
These are the questions you need to ask when buying a used car; if you are in any doubt as to the viability of the purchase, don’t bother! You might only spend more on the upkeep after buying, otherwise.
#2: Consider the timing of your purchase
According to car experts, you can reduce the price you pay on a vehicle when you time your purchase.
Research suggests that dealerships get most of their customers at a weekend, so they sometimes reduce the prices during the week to attract more buyers onto their lots.
Prices are often slashed in January too when people are out of pocket after Christmas. And when a new model is announced, you can expect older models to be reduced in price when they become less desirable to people wanting an upgrade.
Consider your timing then, and if there’s a particular model that takes your eye, curb your temptation to buy unless you can afford it, and bide your time for a reduced price.
#3: Look for added benefits
While some private sellers will chuck in a few freebies to give you an incentive to buy – new car mats, air fresheners – you can usually get more benefits from reputable dealers.
As an example, consider the Vauxhall Network Q Approved Used Cars at Drive Vauxhall. You get a full service before purchase, a year’s roadside assistance, short-term insurance, free accident management, and more!
Not only will you make savings with the extra car costs you would usually have to cover yourself, but you also get peace of mind that you aren’t driving away in a clunker! So, even if you have to pay more on a used car than you would like, you might still make savings in the long-run.
Shop around your dealerships then, and look for similar benefits to support your frugal sensibilities.
#4: Learn how to haggle
Dealers and private sellers expect you to haggle, so don’t be afraid to negotiate the price.
You can generally expect to knock a £100 or so off the price, and you might even get a few extras thrown in too if you ask the right questions. Check out these tips on negotiating a car price, and stick to them when you’re shopping around, or ask a friend or family member to negotiate for you if you are a little on the less confident side.
We hope these tips were useful to you, but let us know your thoughts. And if you have any extra tips on saving money on a used car, please share your frugal wisdom with us.
Thanks for reading, and happy driving!