New cars may look irresistible but the truth is they will lose around 40% of their value in their first year. So if you’re looking for a ‘new’ car, you may be best off with a used model.
In fact, thousands of drivers every year buy second hand cars instead of brand new ones. If you’re hoping to buy a used car, keep reading to find out the best places to find them online.
Buying a used car online
Since 1975, Auto Trader magazine has been one of the UK’s leading motoring publications. Between its printed magazine and its busy website, it’s one of the country’s most popular places to buy and sell cars. Take a look at Auto Trader’s used car section online and use its detailed search facility to narrow down your results. There’s even a series of handy guides to help you confidently buy a used car online. So if you’re feeling nervous about the process, Auto Trader could be the most reassuring place to make your purchase.
But it’s not the only place to buy used cars on the web. Exchange and Mart has a great online offering too, with used cars, bikes and vans for sale. There are helpful guides here too, including tips on the best time to buy a car and how to find the right vehicle for your needs. There’s also a section that helps you find used car dealers in your local area: if you’re interested in one of the models advertised, you simply leave your details so the dealer can call you back.
For a snazzier search function, choose Motors.co.uk. This website’s homepage is immediately attention-grabbing: the search facility here is graphically-led, letting you specify your budget, your favourite colours, your desired running costs and the main impact you’d like your car to have on your life. Currently, there are over 250,000 cars for sale on Motors.co.uk and it’s a great option if you find other used car websites a little staid.
Autovillage.co.uk is another used car website that’s worth a look, although its search function isn’t quite as sophisticated. Here, you can search for used car listings by make, model and postcodes. You can also search for used cars by body-style, which is particularly handy if you know exactly what type of car you want but aren’t too fussy about the make.
Other popular used car websites
If you’d rather skip the middle-man, you’ll find a variety of used cars on online auction site eBay and classifieds website Gumtree too. Gumtree listings are organised by geographic location, but you can easily filter eBay results too: simply set your results to UK only, and specify a maximum distance from your postcode or town.
When you’ve found a used car you’d like to buy, don’t rush into making a purchase. Remember, you need to take certain steps to ensure that the car you’re buying is legitimate and not stolen. Gov.uk has a handy list of steps to take when buying a used car, such as checking that the MOT is up to date and checking any details against the DVLA’s vehicle enquiry service. The AA has a collection of useful information too, particularly on technical details like clocking.
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