Money Matters Team

Guide to buying a used car

By Money Matters Team 12/06/2018

Guide to buying a used car

Looking for a great deal on a used car can be exciting, but keeping a cool head and making the right decision will help you get value for money.

Finding a bargain

If you’re thinking of buying a car, going for a used model can be a cost-effective way to get on the road. While new vehicles can lose up to 40% of their value within the first year, the depreciation curve for used cars is much lower.

Before starting your search, it’s important to consider your budget. Bear in mind costs for any work needing done, and be sure to factor in the price of road tax and car insurance.

With your finances in order, where should you go to find the right deal? Buying from a reputable dealership may give you peace of mind as they offer stronger consumer rights and a chance to get behind the wheel for a test drive. Don’t rule out other options though; buying through auctions and private sellers could mean you’re able to get more of a bargain.

Be prepared

Our visual guide provides more useful tips for buying a used car, such as the pros and cons of different fuel types and things you should look out for during an inspection, including the key documents you’ll need to examine. We’ve also highlighted some handy online tools for checking the history of the car.


Once you’ve got your new motor, you’ll want to keep it in great shape and maximise the resale value. Take a look at our handy guide to maintaining your car.

For some more practical tips, check out our series of car guides.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.