Searching for a used car can sometimes be a mission! With so many models on offer and sellers to choose from, making the right decisions can seem like nothing more than a game of chance! The good news is that it's possible to buy the perfect used car for your needs. As long as you do it the smart way, of course! In today's blog post, I will guide you through the process. My aim is to save you a whole lot of hassle and money. Here is what you need to know:

Spend some time doing research on the Internet

Even if you know what make and model you want, you still need to dedicate some of your time to researching your future vehicle. It's no secret that all cars have their faults and quirks. If they are small, trivial issues, it won't stop you from buying the car you want. But what happens if you purchase a car and it turns into a money pit? Had you researched its common faults online first, you could have made the decision to buy something else. That's why it is important you find out what potential pitfalls you will face by getting a particular car. There are many places you can go online to do your research. Whenever I want to buy a used car, I always start with motoring blogs and review sites. My next stop will usually be enthusiast forums. The latter is an online community of owners that share details of common problems and how to fix them. 6

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Search for used cars for sale

Classifieds sites like AutoTrader and eBay Motors are good places to start when seeking out a particular car. I always suggest keeping your search criteria broad. That's because sellers often make mistakes when listing cars for sale. Search results for cars are usually paginated. So if you only see ten cars on the results page, don't panic. There's usually an option that says something like "click for more results" that you can select to go to the next page. Another tip is to stick with national searches. Don't limit yourself to local or even regional searches. Why? Because you might miss out on a car for sale that might be just one mile out of your radius! It's also worth noting that distance details are "as the crow flies." Now, if you feel like going car shopping the traditional way, check your local dealerships. Dealerships prioritize customer satisfaction, and you would get all the required information directly from the sales personnel. And since most reputed dealerships make use of management software like Dealertrack (, you won't have to worry about receiving quotes and the car's history.

Make a shortlist

Have you seen a few possible cars you like the look of? That's good! Make a list of those cars, along with the contact details of each seller. You can then contact each one and make arrangements to go view the cars. It's likely that at least one of the cars on your shortlist will have got sold already. Contacting each seller first ensures that you don't waste your time going to see a car that isn't available to buy.

Do a background check

The last thing you want to do is buy a dodgy car! Before you hand over any money, use a service like Carfax or HPI to look for any hidden history on the vehicle. If any "red flags" come up, walk away. The reports are cheap to buy and are a worthwhile investment into any car you might want to buy!  

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