Finally, you can cut through the numerical clutter of car buying and view a single validated price on the exact car or truck you want. TrueCar Certified Dealers also offer used cars. View used cars for sale. Over , Pre-Owned vehicles for sale from Certified Dealers nationwide.
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Get an exceptional car buying experience when you purchase from a TrueCar Certified Dealer who is dedicated to great service, and saving you time and money. TrueCar analyzes millions of used car listings to determine whether listing prices are above or below market, so you can feel confident in the price you're paying. Shop New.
Shop Used. Shopping for a Car? Choose a Brand.
New Cars Used Cars. Show More Brands. Ensure you know exactly what you want before ordering. For peace of mind, you may also want to do a check on the broker you intend to use. As with most other products, you can now buy a car entirely online. The process does vary, though: Buyacar offers a phone line where Carwow does not, and operates similar to a large broker — it sources the car for you at a good price, and you pay it rather than the dealer. Verdict: Increasingly popular and certainly convenient, but check exactly what the process is and test-drive cars before you commit.
Car supermarkets are a growing threat to established car dealers. Their stock is mainly used, though many also sell factory-fresh and pre-registered cars with very low mileage. Some websites show classified adverts for cars for sale from selected sources only, to offer buyers peace of mind.
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These allow only dealers that meet set criteria to sell cars via their sites, and usually have more than , cars advertised for sale at any one time. The AA will have inspected selected cars point check and provide a detailed report. However, note that non-approved dealers - and even private sellers - do also advertise on RAC Cars, so look for the BuySure certificate.
The biggest of these is Autotrader, which regularly has listings for over , used cars. As with the selective classified websites above, these are just a place for dealers or private sellers to advertise the cars they have to sell — and they are essentially a free-for-all so you could find dodgy back-street dealer cars alongside ones for sale through franchised main dealers. If it doesn't then you'll want to hear a good explanation as to why not. Be wary of anything that seems like a real bargain, or has a very low mileage for its age.
There are bargains to be had but in general, if a deal looks too good to be true then it most likely is.
Vehicles Under $17,500
If you know what you're doing then use our DIY inspection checklist to help make sure you look the car over thoroughly. As well as regular usually annual servicing there are major items like brake fluid, antifreeze or cam belt renewal that car manufacturers specify should be done at a certain age or mileage.
If a cam belt breaks the resulting damage is likely to run into several thousand pounds and often a new engine is the most economical option. Some engines have a chain instead of a belt and these normally last the life of the vehicle but if your car does have a belt you must make sure it's replaced when due.
If a belt change was due but the service record doesn't show clearly that it was done then the belt will have to be renewed as soon as possible for peace of mind. Look to see how the security system works — and check that it does — and find out what keys were provided when the car was new. Coloured 'master' keys provided by some manufacturers to programme new spare keys for the car are even more expensive to replace.
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There's no legal requirement but cars are generally sold new with at least one spare key. If there's not a spare now ask why not. The test drive is your only opportunity to check the car's general mechanical condition and to find our for sure that it meets all your needs:. Misaligned panels or mismatched colours on doors, bonnet and tailgate can indicate that the car has been repaired after a shunt.
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Traces of spray paint on door handles, window seals and mouldings can indicate repairs too. If the engine bay looks like it has recently been power-washed clean the owner could be trying to remove evidence of fluid leaks. A check under the bonnet after a lengthy test drive should reveal any problems. Seats and carpets can always be cleaned, or even replaced, but stains on internal fabric head—linings are impossible to remove completely.
If seat covers have been fitted, check underneath them for signs of damage. You can get seats replaced but this can be very expensive, particularly if they contain electric motors or airbags. Adaptors for locking wheel nuts have a habit of going missing.
If locking wheel nuts are fitted, check to make sure that the special adaptor required is included with the toolkit and that it fits the nuts. There are always other vehicles out there so if this one doesn't feel right in any way it's time to walk away.
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The bottom line is that you're buying a car to help yourself, not anyone else. Pitfalls to watch out for, when buying a used car Clocking Clocking is the illegal practice of winding back the odometer on a high—mileage car to increase its apparent value and asking price. More about clocking Car cloning Sometimes one car is given the identity of another by replacing the number plates with those from an almost identical vehicle - same make, model and colour. More about car cloning 'Cut—and—shut' This is when the remains of two or more cars, which have usually been accident—damaged and written off by insurers, are welded together, then illegally given the identity of one of the wrecks.
Budget carefully Get insurance quotes and check car tax rates before signing on the bottom line, and remember to factor in the cost of any work that might be needed too.