5 Things To Consider When Buying A Used Car

Why Is it worth buying used cars from Japan

In May 2022, the number of new cars sold dropped to the second lowest level in over 30 years. The continued supply chain shortage of semiconductors has meant that car buying in 2022 is a completely different experience to pre-pandemic. As a result, the used car market is booming but prices are soaring with many people paying above the odds for a used car. So, with such a tricky market, what are five things to consider when buying a used car?

Why Is it worth buying used cars from Japan

Car History

Paying for occasional broken parts is inevitable when buying a car. Buying or leasing a new car delays pricey garage trips often covered under warranty but, for a used car, those unexpected car costs can be more…expected. That’s why understanding a car’s history before purchasing is really important so you can see what condition the car is in, what’s recently been replaced (and therefore what might need to be replaced in the future during its lifecycle).

A HPI check will cover:

– Service & MOT history

– Stolen car check

– Number of previous owners

– Insurance write-off

– Scrapped car check

– Valuation

When choosing your car, it is important to carry out your own thorough visual checks.

Finance

Finding a car you like is one thing but knowing whether you can afford it is another. Used car prices have rocketed in recent months and this doesn’t mean they’ve risen in line with wages – the UK is facing one of the worst cost of living crises and an impending recession, so making smart financial decisions is more important than ever. Ensure you can afford monthly payments alongside any other monthly commitments such as rent/mortgage, council tax, childcare, energy bills etc.

Buying a car on finance rather than purchasing outright is often the preferred method of payment, however, with a range of fiinance options to choose from, it can often feel a little overwhelming.

Hire Purchase (HP) – a monthly instalment plan ensures you own the vehicle outright at the end of the agreement. Payments are split evenly and there is no hefty balloon payment option on completion.

– Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) – PCP is becoming increasingly common for people looking for new cars. The initial deposit is often lower than with an HP agreement, and the monthly payment plan can be more affordable too. At the end of your contract (usually 2-4 years) customers can choose to return the vehicle or pay a balloon fee to then own the car outright.

Personal Loan – you borrow money from a lender and make payments over a fixed period – by owning the car outright, you have the option to sell at any time. This is an unsecured loan i.e., the car isn’t used to secure the loan, such as PCP or HP. This option often isn’t available for those with poor credit.

Bad Credit Car Finance – this option is suited for those with a poor credit rating or who have struggled to get approval for car finance elsewhere, payments are still affordable, and the process helps guide people through the car buying process to ensure they end up with a car they can afford.

Fuel

In June 2022 it was announced that the UK drivers faced a ‘truly dark day’ with fuel costs reaching an unprecedented high, costing the average car £100 to fill a full tank. It’s no surprise then that fuel is becoming one of the most important considerations for used car purchases.

Diesel and petrol cars are still more common than hybrid and electric cars due partly to their accessibility and affordability for most of the UK. Whilst there’s definitely an appetite for drivers to make the switch to electric, the UK’s infrastructure for charging points is still developing. Make sure to understand your car’s fuel efficiency and consider your own driving behaviours to understand whether this is something you can afford to run.

Servicing & car parts

Certain car parts are more expensive than others but there are also certain car brands that often have more expensive parts too. As a rule of thumb, widely accessible car brands with a lower price point such as Ford and Citroen are generally cheaper to repair as their parts are readily available. On the other hand, car manufacturers such as Mercedes or BMW, brands that are more premium are more expensive to source and fit.

Depending on your requirements and preferred vehicle, it’s therefore worth looking into average servicing costs for the car you want to buy too. It may be more economical to opt for an MOT and servicing package sometimes offered by dealers which can help lock in a price and navigate unexpected costs.

Depreciation

A final consideration when buying a used car is its depreciation value. All cars lose value and that is well known for new cars but what about for used cars? Vehicle depreciation refers to how much a car loses from its value over time. This is an important consideration especially if you’re thinking about selling your car in future.