What is value for money when it comes to a used car?
- Is it buying a car that's the cheapest?
- Is it buying a car because a Guide book says its the right price?
Well it's more complicated than that unfortunately. If we eliminate the Guide option first. There are two industry recognised Guides CAP and Glass' Guide. Motor traders will undoubtedly use these at some point on every part exchange valuation. On top of this guide price is trade knowledge and the live market. Trade knowledge is impossible to gain unless you have done the job for years. I regularly hear a conversation between two Motor Traders saying the Book's wrong on that car and its a £1000 less or the Books wrong and the cars worth more than the guide price. These things are all weighed up against the Live market. So if there is doubt in regards to the guide prices then we jump on AutoTrader, EBay, Gumtree and Piston Heads and search for comparable cars.
With all that going on when it come to the original trade purchase of the car, what hope will the guide be for buying? Not a lot I'm afraid.
Then we have the cheapest car online is that the best value? I personally don't think so, it may be fine but normally the cheapest car is a car that a dealer has had for a long time and they have reduced it every 20 days to keep it competitive. What that means is a number have people have been to see the car and haven't bought it. It's fair to say that the likely cause of that will be the condition or the history.
So back to the original question , What is value for money when buying a used car.
- Is the car priced around the same as comparable cars online ( Auto trader has the most users ) not the cheapest but within £200 of anything else in a sensible driving time.
- Does it have better than average miles ? or Slightly higher miles meaning you get a younger car for similar price?. Both are favourable
- What is the service history like, has it got dealer stamps and invoices ?
- Is there a warranty provided how long is it and what does it cover?
- Does it look well for its age and mileage. How someone has cared for a car means a lot. Is the paint work bright and interior clean and odorless. Or is it badly scratched from machine car washing and scruffy inside?
And that is all you can do as a customer, Check the pricing but it doesn't have to be the cheapest, Check the history and the condition and if everything looks good and your happy then its Value for Money.