Buying guides

Where To Buy

Which matters more to you; saving money or having peace of mind?

There are lots of places to buy a used car. The more legwork you put in, the greater the savings. Buying privately or at auction are the cheapest options, but these also offer the least protection. So if you want peace of mind you're better off paying more to buy from a dealer.

However, some dealers trade as private sellers so they don't have to comply with an array of rules, so be wary of anybody you think might be doing this. A good start is to see how long they've owned the car they're now selling.

One of the cheapest options, but beware of over-optimistic pricing and there's no warranty. The car must be advertised honestly though, so look out for vague statements or areas glossed over altogether.
Usually have the newest cars in stock, which will often be better cared for and have lower mileages. A warranty has to be offered and you have protection, but prices also tend to be the highest here.
Generally offer the same facilities as a franchised dealer, but the cars tend to be higher mileage so they're a bit more affordable. You still get a warranty and the weight of the law on your side as a result.
These offer low prices as they sell lots of cars ¬and make a small profit on each. They tend to focus on mainstream cars, but there's usually plenty of choice and sometimes they get something in that's a bit more specialised.
The lowest prices are here, but it's easy to buy a heap if you're not careful. There are lots of good cars too, but you typically get just one hour's warranty covering only major parts of the car. Buy badly and you're almost certainly on your own.