New cars can be ordered to your exact specification or they may be pre-registered. Pre-registered cars are available now and these are best sourced through the internet and we will explain how to get the best deal possible. Pre-registered new cars are often available at knock down prices.
|New pre-registered cars are often not advertised nationally and rather than contacting dealers throughout the country in search of a bargain try carwow. It’s a simple process- you input the specification of the car you are interested in and they do the searching on your behalf. Dealers bid for your business so you are guaranteed a good deal. No cost or obligation.
'Nearly new' cars are separately categorised as they are generally demonstrators or company cars registered by vehicle manufacturers or dealerships. There are a lot of these cars around because dealerships have to fulfil quotas and so buy up stock themselves. These cars are generally up to 12 months old, low mileage and often represent excellent value. You will find nearly new cars advertised on the websites below.
For every new car registered in the UK there are two second hand cars sold through the domestic motor trade. In total there are around 6 million second hand cars bought and sold each year in this country.
Extra care should be exercised when buying second hand cars and it is important to manage your own expectations as used cars start to show signs of wear and tear.
Our guide covers the purchase of both new and second hand cars.
You may be tempted by a ‘private sale’ as this will generally be less expensive than a comparable ‘trade sale’ but the legal protection when buying privately is minimal and the ‘risk’, therefore, much higher.
If you buy a car privately it’s a case of ‘buyer beware’ so it’s doubly important to check the vehicle as well as the paperwork very carefully. We recommend you have a qualified mechanic or vehicle inspection agent such as the AA with you if you are considering buying privately. See below for other checks you should make.
Because there is so little recourse to the law if things go wrong we do not recommend buying a car privately unless:
- You know the seller personally and trust him or her.
- Or the car is of relatively low value and you understand and accept that if there are mechanical or other problems it will be down to you to put it right.
- Or you undertake the following checks:
Before you see the car:
- Ask the seller for the registration number and confirm the make and model of the car by logging on to the DVLA vehicle enquiry service and check the details given by the seller match their records.
- Check the vehicle’s MOT here, and that the MOT history matches the details you’ve been given.
If that is clear, make the following checks when you visit the seller:
- The V5 certificate has a DVL watermark
- check that the seller’s name & address appears on the V5 certificate
- view 2 forms of the seller’s ID including a driving licence or passport
- view the vehicle at the seller’s private address as it appears on his or her ID and the V5 Certificate
- Check that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) matches the V5. (This number is usually found on the chassis, on the windscreen or on the floor by the driver’s seat. Check too that there are no signs it has been tampered with).
- check the vehicle is HPI clear
- invest in a pre-sale inspection
- ensure no money changes hands until all your enquiries are satisfactorily answered
Remember, you will only have a claim against a private seller if, the seller;
- did not have the right to sell the car, or
- the car was not roadworthy at the point of sale
And even then, it does not guarantee you will be able to negotiate a refund.
Buying privately is a risk which you are entitled to take; our guide explains this risk but in the interest of balance, we should point out that there are many hundreds of thousands of private car sales each year in the UK and many go without a hitch.
See also SCAMS.