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Where To Buy A Used Car

If you’ve decided to buy a used car, there are a few ways to do this. Some are riskier than others. Whether you’re working on your driving lessons and considering your first car, or are an experienced driver looking for a bargain, you should weigh up the pros and cons of different ways to buy a used car.


If you’re thinking of buying a car from a dealer, you can go to a franchise dealership or an independent dealer, or car supermarket. Some will have a range of vehicles, while others will specialise, for example in used Audi cars.


  • Your consumer rights are stronger than if you buy privately
  • A car bought from a dealer will usually come with a warranty
  • You will probably be able to part-exchange your existing car
  • You might be able to choose car finance options, such as hire purchase and personal contract payment
  • If you buy a car that is nearly new, there might be some of the original manufacturer’s warranty left
  • The dealer should have already inspected the car and repaired any big faults, although you should still check the car yourself
  • You can negotiate with a dealer for a better price, or additional perks
  • You can get better deals if you shop at the right time of year when dealers need to hit their sales targets


  • Dealers prices can be higher
  • You need to know how to negotiate the best price
  • The warranty you’re offered might include some restrictive clauses

Private Seller

  • It can be risky to buy from a private seller, as if you have a problem later, you have less legal comeback than with a dealer.


  • You’re likely to pay less than if you bought the same from a dealer
  • If the seller is keen to sell, you might be able to negotiate a big discount
  • You get to meet the previous owner and talk about the car


  • You won’t get the reassurance of a warranty unless the car has time left on a manufacturer’s warranty, so you’ll need some insurance cover.
  • You won’t have the option of a car finance plan, so you might need to arrange your own loan if you need one.
  • You have fewer consumer rights. The car needs to be roadworthy and ‘as described’. The seller must be legally able to sell it, and that’s it
  • Your research and checks of the car are essential. If you end up with a faulty car, but the seller hasn’t done anything wrong, there’s not much you can do about it
  • You won’t be able to part-exchange your existing car

Other Options

You can also buy used cars in live auctions or online auctions. This is risky for newer drivers, as you will need to do thorough research to make sure you know what you’re buying. If you’re knowledgeable about cars and not too risk-averse, there can be some fantastic bargains to be had when you buy a used car at auction.