Used cars pose something of a lottery for many car buyers. You might end up with a good car, or you might end up with a lemon. The trouble is, how do you know which one your next used car is going to be?

I’ve owned many cars over the years, and have had a mixture of good and bad cars. In today’s blog post, I want to share with you some of my tips for seeking out only the best used cars your money can buy.

I’d hate for you to end up buying a lemon as it’ll be a waste of your time and money. By following these top tips, you will maximise your chances of buying a winner!

Consider a nearly-new car

When we talk about used cars, we refer to ones that are several years old. Cars of such an age represent the best value for money and are the cheapest way to get on the road.

But have you ever thought about buying a nearly-new car instead? They have many advantages over “traditional” used cars. Here are some examples to illustrate what I mean:

  • New car warranty. When you buy a car that’s only a few months old, it will come with the remaining manufacturer’s warranty on it. New car warranties are good for anything between three and seven years, depending on the car and the manufacturer;
  • They will be reliable. Do you want to spend less time on the side of the road? If so, you need to buy a reliable car. And what better way to do so than to get one that’s under a year old;
  • Depreciation won’t be bad. All car owners hate the word depreciation. All cars lose value over time, regardless of make or age. Cars that are a year old, for instance, don’t suffer the worst depreciation that comes with brand new cars. And because they are still quite “fresh,” chances are they will hold their value well for the near future.

Only buy from a dealer

By law, car dealers have to make sure that the cars they sell are roadworthy and safe. When you buy from a private seller, you get no such guarantees. That means if something goes wrong, you will have a better chance of a dealer resolving the problem for you.

The Pentagon Group, for example, only sell quality used cars that they would be happy to buy themselves! I’ve bought cars from both private sellers and used car dealers in the past. The cars that I’ve had problems with all came from private sellers. Make from that what you will…

Check for hidden history

Whenever you buy a used car, you must always do background checks before you buy. HPI and CarFax checks are a great way to help you do this.

If those reports flag up any problems, such as outstanding finance or police warnings, you can walk away from the deal! It’s worth checking for hidden history, to guarantee peace of mind.