4 Ways to Buy a Used Car

How To Buy


4 Guides to buying your next used car.

This section of The Used Car Guy is focused on buying a used car.

There are three proper ways to buy a car, and one improper way:


  1. Buying a used car from a dealer
  2. Buying a car from a private seller
  3. How to buy from vehicle auctions

The 4th route is to buy a car online (without seeing it), but really this method should be avoided unless it’s absolutely necessary to do so. I dislike online buying so much that I’ve decided to not include it in this part of the site. Unless you are buying brand new from the manufacturer I can think of very few reasons that would justify buying a car online. If you do opt to buy online it’s a good idea to be familiar with the Make and Model of the car before you commit to purchasing.

Each page in this car buying section will specifically talk about the listed categories of purchasing a used car. I will guide you on some key points that you need to know before you buy. All the information provided is born from twenty five years of direct experience working as a self-employed car dealer. I believe the inside tips and tricks shared, coupled with my extensive knowledge and understanding, will put you in a position of strength the next time you buy a motor.

If you’re buying a used, second hand car you’re certainly in the right place. But you may want to use a vehicle inspection service such as AA car inspections, or ClickMechanic. Check out my dedicated car inspections page for further information.


Regardless of where you buy a car, and no matter how many checks you carry out on a used vehicle there are always unknown quantities. For example, you can’t measure when an alternator, water pump or air conditioning unit is going to fail (unless they are making some loud and unusual noises.)

It’s also wise to consider the age, mileage and general condition of a car and to keep expectations in line with your budget. With 70,000 miles you have to expect some wear and tear, stone chips, odd nips in the seats or a slightly worn steering wheel. Keep these points in mind when you set off to buy your next set of wheels.

In fact, it’s very important for a used car to display signs of wear when its traveled any considerable mileage. If a vehicle is displaying 25,000 miles but has considerable wear in the seats, steering wheel or paint work, it’s an indication that the cars mileage may not be genuine.

In contrast, if the vehicle is showing 65,000 miles and it looks virtually brand new in the paint work (particularly the bonnet, front bumper, mirrors and front wings), the car may well have had some major or minor accident damage that’s been repaired and repainted.

Private Members Area

In the main navigation bar at the top of the website you’ll find my compact and definitive “buying a used car guide.” It’s a comprehensive, step by step process that shows you exactly how to buy a used car that is genuine, reliable and excellent value for your money.

Find car valuations and free information across this website but I’ve created a specialist car buying guide that includes a mini video series and full text car buyers guide. Once you’ve bought the guide and joined my private membership area you’ll find check sheets that you should take with you when viewing a used vehicle. You simply walk around the car, carry out the checks that I show you and tick them off one by one. Each check box is color coded and tells you if a fault is acceptable, needs repair or means you should walk away from the car immediately.

The content is like nothing else you will find on the internet today. I have poured almost 25 years of knowledge, experience and tips into one place. It is probably the best money you can spend on the entire process of buying a used car. Click here and get full access to all of my knowledge and experience.


As The Used Car Guy grows in popularity there are an increasing number of visitors that email me with their questions. I am happy to help wherever I can but please be mindful that I receive a lot of emails. I try to respond within 24 hours but there are some days when it’s just not possible to make a proper response on the same day.

I hope you enjoy this section of the site as much as I enjoy sharing it!
The Used Car Guy

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