4th March 2022

With new plates now available, now is the perfect time to get a great deal on a second-hand car. 

Buying a Used Car

Savvy motorists know that the best time to pick up a used car at a bargain price is around the time new licence plates are released – ie right now!

If you’re in the market for some second-hand wheels, our guide to buying a used car is here to help ensure you get maximum value for money.


Take advantage of new plates being released

When new plates are released – as they were this week, on March 1st – some people just can’t wait to get their hands on one and will often part-exchange their old cars to do so. The result of this is dealers across the UK suddenly find their lots full of cars they want to sell asap. With supply outstripping demand, dealers are more likely to sell at a lower price, which means now is a great opportunity for you to head over and get haggling.


Check the car’s history

Once you’ve chosen a used car, you need to make sure it’s not going to break down within a couple of weeks and land you with a hefty repair bill and the best way to do that is to check its service book.

Service books keep a record of when a car was last serviced, how many miles it’s done and its MOT status, among other things. If the tax has long since expired or the MOT isn’t current, find out why before completing the purchase. If the dealer can’t give you a satisfactory reason, play it safe and walk away – the car may have been off the road for an extended period due to ongoing problems. Don’t let them become YOUR problems!


Be aware of dealers’ sales quarters

Car dealers have sales targets to hit in order to earn bonuses and, as luck would have it, the end of their first sales quarter is at the end of March (the other sales quarters end in June, September and December). As their sales deadline approaches, dealers can be more open to negotiating in order to sell the last few cars that will take them past their target. If you’re not in a rush to buy a new car, waiting until the end of the month could allow you to make a significant saving.


Don’t pay for unnecessary trim

Trim levels are different versions of the same car. If, for example, you want to buy a Ford Focus, you’ll usually have the option to buy a version with standard trim (which doesn’t have many extras), one with a fancier trim (which has some extras) and one with a really fancy trim (which has lots of extras).

When buying a new car, it can be all too easy to get carried away with the salesperson’s talk of heated seats, parking sensors and monitors in the headrests. But as you can probably guess, the more extras you want, the more expensive the car will be so, if you’re on a strict budget, stick to the basic trim.


How we can help?

With one of our car loans, you could borrow between £1,000 and £25,000 to help you buy a new car or just cover the deposit. For more information, click here.

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