5. You have found a car

Have you found a car that ticks most of the boxes? Now it is time to check it on the points as written in the PreOwnedCarAdvice Handbook. Check it for damages, inspect the engine bay, and find out if the gearbox is in good condition. To make sure that you do not forget anything, you can print out our Checklist, and use it as a guide during the process.

6. The purchase check

Write down all the issues that you are not happy with on the checklist. Take all your findings into the negotiations, and try to get them fixed on the dealers account. If your warranty is limited, get the car to an independent test facility where you will get a thorough inspection report about the weak parts.

7. Do you have a trade-in?

If you have nothing to trade-in, a discount of at least 5 percent is easily negotiated. If you want to trade-in your current car, it is smart to find out beforehand what your car is worth. You can do this in different ways. The method that is most used by private individuals is to offer it to a couple of dealerships and assume their taxation to be the market value. The second method allows you to estimate your car's value by yourself. Enter the specifications of your current car in the same websites where you looked for a new one. Deduct about 2000 pound from the average sales price and voilĂ , you have got an approximate trade-in price. This works for cars with a value of up to 10.000 pound. For more expensive cars you should deduct 20 percent of the average sales price.

8. Negotiate the price

When you have made your choice and are serious about the purchase, it is time to start negotiating the price. If you have done your homework, the car you selected has a good value for money, so you will never pay too much. However, you can always try to haggle for a discount. The most important factor is that you stay within your budget and never pay more than the average asking price you have found on the internet. Also remember that the negotiation is not only about the price: warranty, service, and perhaps a finance deal add value to the purchase as well.

9. The Purchase

Is everything is to your liking, and have you followed all the instructions in this article? You should now be able to close the sale with confidence. Make sure that all the agreements that you made with the salesperson are written down in the purchase contract. Make use of the notes you made in the checklist, during this final stage.


Only start the negotiations when you are serious about closing the sale, and only then. Of course, you can visit a couple of dealerships, do a test drive and let them make quotations. This way you will inform yourself about the car and get some pricing info.

Are you sure about the car you want to purchase? Make your final visit and try to get that stereo, tow hitch or extra discount. Haggling goes best when the salesperson knows that you are prepared to close the deal. Naturally, you will not let the salesman know that you, in your mind, have already bought the car. You are interested, and when the price is right, only then the car is sold. Read more about this topic in our article: Negotiations.

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