Like any other product with many purchasing options, used cars in the UK you have 4 options as explained below. There is no right or wrong option to go with, however, it’s worth following our explanatory guide before your next car purchase.
Many people from Cyprus choose to buy their car sight unseen by trusting the dealer website without requesting a physical inspection, mechanical check or test drive by somebody in the UK. However, it is highly recommended to have the car checked in person by someone you trust or by a professional who can certify the car condition and seller legitimacy.
1) Buying Approved Used from Franchised Dealers
Approved used or Certified Used cars are fully checked and inspected to meet strict standards and they are being sold or supplied by main (franchise) dealers, who have contracts with the car manufacturers to sell their cars.
These cars ensure high quality, really good condition, verified history checks (finance, mileage, stolen or crash history) and most of the times have a warranty (maybe not transferable to Cyprus, but its an indication of the car condition and dealer promising service). As a buyer you may feel more confident and safe when buying approved used cars from the experts and official dealers, however, the price is normally higher and negotiations for a better deal not easy.
2) Buying from Independent Dealers
Independent dealers are car traders professionals who have no affiliation or contracts with any car manufacturer and they buy or sell cars in one or many locations under their private business name.
Buying from independent dealers has its advantages such as lower prices compared to main dealers, flexibility in the business terms, easier to negotiate for better deals and also they can provide a warranty. In order to ensure car quality and condition, you may need to get further information from the dealer or request onsite inspection and test drive.
How to ensure the car dealer business is trustworthy?
It is important to verify the seller business, their reputation and confirm their legitimacy. You can read online reviews and also ask them or look for signs on their website or documents of a trade association membership such as the Retail Motor Industry Federation, the Scottish Motor Trade Association, Independent Motor Dealers Association) or a sign that says they follow The Motor Ombudsman’s code of practice. Many of the trade associations are listed at the National Conciliation Service website
3) Buying directly from the car owner/Private Seller
Buying the car directly from its current owner may involve risks because there is no legal come back in the most of the cases if something is wrong with the car. As a buyer, you need to be aware of the car you are buying since you do not have the same rights than with a main or independent dealer who is their business to sell cars that should be of acceptable quality, fit the purpose and as described in the advert. Definitely, you need to run a full inspection of the car and verify its history before purchase. The main advantage of buying privately is the cheap prices.
4) Buying from auctions
It sounds exciting but its too risky. If you do not have the experience to understand what you are buying, you may end up with a poor deal and waste your money. The auction is good for experience traders (auction paid members) who have done their deep research and they know when and how to get the best deals. Most of the times you do not have the option to test drive or reject a car after bidding, but if you are lucky you can get a good deal and save a lot of money on your next car.
Be more careful if you are buying from an auction and read their terms before bidding. Look for the UK auction business members at the National Association Of Motor Auctions