Ultimate Guide to Buying a Used Car

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If you're in the market for a used car, you've come to the right place. Buying a used car can be a great way to save money by getting a more reliable vehicle with a warranty and features that meet all your needs. However, it can also be a daunting task for some as there are many factors to consider, such as the condition of the vehicle, its history, and the price. Most people find it easier to make a ‘wish list’ before starting to look to ensure they don’t forget anything they need from a new or replacement car.

In this ultimate guide to buying a used car, we'll take you through everything you need to know to make an informed purchase. From researching the make and model of the car you're interested in, to checking its history and taking it for a test drive, we'll provide you with expert tips and advice to help you find the perfect used car for your needs and budget. It’s also a good idea to research the Company you are buying from to ensure that they are reputable; a good place to do this is to take a look at the many review sites now available online, such as Trustpilot.

Determine Your Budget

Before you start shopping for a used car, determine your budget. Consider how much you can afford to spend on the vehicle, including any additional costs such as insurance, road fund licence, and maintenance. Quite often buyers need to use some sort of finance to buy a car as they are expensive purchases. It is important to determine your affordable monthly after all your other existing outgoings; your FCA regulated dealer can also help with guidance on funding methods and affordability.

Once you have a figure in mind, it’s time to decide on your perfect next vehicle.


Decide the Purpose of the Vehicle

It is important to plan the purchase of a used car based on what you will be using the vehicle for. As brilliant and sporty as we think the Ford Mustang is, we know it might not be the most practical as a family car, if that is what you're looking for.
What will you be using the vehicle for? Is it simply going to be used for your daily commute to work? Or do you have weekend adventuring in store for your next car? TC Harrison Ford has a large range of used cars in stock, that is constantly changing, so keep checking to find your dream car.

 Number of seats is an important factor when selecting your next car, you need to think carefully about how many people you will have in the vehicle at once on a day to day basis. You also need to think about how much cargo space you will need in the boot. If you require a large amount, a hatchback might not be the best option for you. A more suitable option would be an SUV, like the spacious Ford Puma, or an estate vehicle.

You should also consider how much it will cost to insure the vehicle. This is important if you are purchasing it as a first car after passing your driving test, especially at a younger age. A hatchback with a smaller engine size, such as the ever reliable Ford Fiesta, will be the cheapest option in this case, but it is vital to put the registration into insurance price comparison websites to find out the best deal.


Buying a Used Car from a Dealership

When buying a used vehicle from a car dealership, there are various tips to follow to ensure you get the best possible outcome when it comes to securing your new ride.

  1. Research the vehicle
    Once you have decided on what you will be using the car for, it is important to research the vehicle online or by speaking to people who own one. You need to make sure that the car has everything included that you desire, such as a spare tyre, bluetooth connectivity or electric back windows. You may also wish to research the vehicle in depth to find out its fuel efficiency/ battery range.

    2. Research the dealership

    When you have found the car you want, it is vital to research the dealership in which you will be purchasing the vehicle from. You want to make sure you are buying from a reputable, honest dealership/garage that are giving you a fair deal. Look for online reviews of the dealership you plan to visit. If the reviews are mostly negative, it may be best to look elsewhere. Luckily, you have nothing to worry about in this department when dealing with TC Harrison Ford, as we have an excellent rating on Trustpilot.

    3. Decide how you're going to pay for it

    There are various different ways that you can pay fora used car, such as finance or paying with cash upfront. There are various options when it comes to finance, including Hire Purchase and PCP. You can learn all about used car finance at TC Harrison Ford here.

    4. Take a test drive

    Arguably one of the most important parts of purchasing a car is taking your potential new vehicle for a test drive. This will give you a hands on feel for the car that you would not be able to get from just viewing it. If you notice any problems, bring them to the dealership's attention before taking possession of the car.

    5. Review the paperwork

    Before signing any paperwork for your next car, make sure you have taken the time to carefully read through any forms, contracts or documents that you have to sign. You want to make sure you fully understand everything, and ask the car salesperson if there's anything you want to query. Ensure that the vehicle has an up to date MOT and service, if the dealership told you that they would be carrying these out for you prior to purchase.



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Benefits of Buying Used

One of the benefits of buying a used car is that it is often significantly cheaper than a new car, and insurance costs for used cars are typically lower than for new cars since the value of a used car is typically lower than a new one, resulting in a lower insurance premium.
Another advantage of purchasing a used car is that it has already experienced the initial depreciation, meaning that the rate of depreciation is lower than that of a new car. This is because new cars can lose as much as 20% of their value as soon as they are driven away from the dealership. By buying a used car, you can avoid this initial depreciation and save money. This can save you a significant amount of money if you decide to sell the car after a year or two of ownership. With a used car, you also have a wider range of options available to you in terms of makes and models, years, and mileage. This means that you can find a car that meets your needs and budget more easily than if you were limited to buying a new car.
Furthermore, purchasing a used car can be a more relaxed and comfortable experience. When you buy a new car, there is often a lot of pressure to decide quickly. With a used car, you can take your time, do your research, and find the right car at the right price.



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