More and more people are making the smart move of opting for a used car rather than a new one, but with so many cars on the market, where should you start? What are the benefits of going to certain buyers over others? Where do you have the best chance of doing a deal? Hopefully, today’s article will help to answer all those questions…
Direct to manufacturer
If you know the exact car and brand you want, the safest option will always be to go straight to one of the manufacturer’s dealerships. Not only do you have the best legal protection afforded to you, but you may get certain incentives such as an extended warranty, a free service or add-ons included with the car. The downside to this is that you are unlikely to get the best deal, and may pay a premium for using their services depending on the brand in question.
Dealerships and garages
One step down from a manufacturer is to go to an all-encompassing dealership or garage that sells a variety of models and makes. You’ll still get a good amount of legal protection in the buying process, and will often be able to browse the cars they have on their website beforehand to give you a better idea of what’s available for your price range. Salespeople here will also be more open to haggling, but they’ll also be used to the process and be difficult to bargain with. It’s important to stand your ground here and not be pushed into deals you’re unsure of.
These are where thousands of cars are listed from a variety of dealers up and down the country, and you’ll be able to view all information about the vehicle, as well as reviews on both the car you want and what it was like for people dealing with that specific seller. On some sites, such as AutoTrader.co.za, you can even start conversations in the forum section. People often find this option to be more convenient and less highly-pressured, as there’s always the feeling that you need to buy something when stood toe-to-toe with a salesperson. You’ll still have to buy the car in person, but you can do so with a lot more confidence.
Finally, private sellers have the most risk associated, but they’re also where you’ll find the best deal. They’re more likely to be motivated to sell quickly, be open to haggling, and not understand the process as well as salespeople do. All of this you can take advantage of, but it’s vital that you obey certain warning signs such as incorrect paperwork, their unwillingness to meet at their home or descriptions that say “sold as seen” – you can find more information on this here. You’ll be able to find private sellers on online marketplaces as well as sites like eBay and Gumtree.
What was your experience of buying a used car? Let us know in the comments…