When it comes to the majority of people, buying a new car will likely represent the second-largest investment we make in life behind buying a home. While it’s true that the price-point of most things has decreased over the years, cars have, in the main, held relatively high value – particularly if you’re looking to buy new.
However, while a new car still commands a high price tag, estimates suggest most autos will depreciate by around 40-60% in their first three years of ownership. Indeed, the minute you drive a new car off the forecourt, it’s immediately losing value – making the idea of buying second-hand a more attractive option for most.
The effect of tech and the web on car buying/selling
Just like pretty much all other aspects of both our work and social lives, tech is now having a huge effect on the available options when it comes to buying or selling vehicles. Where once buyers and sellers were largely limited by the options that existed in their immediate locale, the web has massively increased the choice and availability of places to buy and sell vehicles. Also, with improving security and e-com systems, making relatively high-value purchases online has become safer than ever.
Buying a second-hand car – your options
From private sales to dealerships and online websites, the choice is now greater than ever for the discerning second-hand car buyer, so it’s well worth shipping around to find the best deals. As a general guide, you should think about the following:
Traditional dealerships: While the web has massively changed how people are shopping, most of us would agree, there’s nothing quite like being able to inspect goods up close and personal to get the best idea of their value – and the same most definitely applies to cars. Perhaps more importantly, buying from a dealership will mean you can take the car out for an all-important test drive.
Buy from an online trader: The web is transforming traditional retail – and perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the car market. Using an online trader will give you access to a huge range of vehicles – all competitively priced to remain in line with other dealers. Searching terms like buy my car will likely open up a world of options you didn’t even know existed.
Go for a private sale: Even a private seller will likely use an internet site for advertising their vehicle, but there is one crucial difference going this route – namely, you’ll cut out the middle man and be able to barter the best price directly with the seller.
Don’t forget the socials: While sites like eBay used to rule the roost when it came to online sales, platforms like Facebook and its Marketplace are becoming increasingly popular – plus considerably less expensive from the seller’s perspective. Using social platforms means you could offset any potential advertising fees that might be added to your overall selling fee. Another advantage is, similar to the private sale option above, you’ll get to speak directly to the seller.