Introduction to buying a car. The Guide.


Side note – The information contained in my car buying guides is like no other information on the internet. It’s born of more than 20 years experience in the used car motor trade in the U.K.

Discover all the inside tips, tricks and tactics that the used cars dealers use to buy used cars and sell them for a profit. Find out where cars are really bought, exactly what to look out for when buying a used car and how to save a significant amount of money when you do make a purchase.

This is the information the car dealers don’t want  you to know.

Below is a short introduction to the actual paid product that The Used Car Guy offers. We thought’d you deserved a sneak peak!

First up, no matter how many checks you perform on a used car there are some things that can’t be measured. You can’t really tell if an alternator or water pump is going to fail. Believe me they can fail on a brand new car never mind a used car. So keep this in mind.

It’s also important to remember the age, mileage and price range of the used car you’re planning on. You have to expect higher mileage cars in the lower price brackets to have some wear and tear. In fact it’s important that used cars do show some wear in places as it’s an indication that the car is genuine and not been played around with excessively.

However there are things you must do to minimise your risk and ensure you are buying a genuine car, that’s will likely be reliable and excellent value for your money.

During this walkthrough I will check out a car. With each element I carry out I will tell you if a fault is acceptable and you should still consider the car; or if you should ask a question about that issue or if you should simply walk away from the car.


The Life of a Dealer

  1. Generally a dealer is working on a minimum of a £1000 profit margin per vehicle. Ideally they want this to be net profit (after VAT, preparation costs, warranty inclusion costs and that kind of thing.) Negotiation is usually available. They want your business and will do all they can to close a deal that day.

Dealers earn money in 3 ways – 1 The profit margin in the car, 2 Profit from extended warranties, finance packages and the like, 3 Profit earned from your part exchange (if you have one.)

  1. Most dealers buy from car auctions, prepare the car as necessary, clean it and sell for that profit margin.
  2. Watch out for Motability owned cars. The positive with Motability is that cars are serviced under manufacturer’s guidelines by the main dealer.

The big negative is their cars have often suffered unusual amounts of wear and tear. Wheel chairs, car adaptations and struggles for owners to get in and out of the car lead to excessive wear in bodywork and trim. So be mindful when a car is a pre-owned Motability.

Because of this the Motability car auctions are usually cheaper than the normal fleet car auctions. Some dealers like this and will buy cars considerably cheaper than they otherwise would if they were buying fleet.

  1. Watch out for exaggerated part exchange valuations. This can indicate the car you’re interested in is overpriced. A big p/x price is a lure to hook you into a deal.
  2. If you p/x your old car make sure you fill in the V5C yellow slips with the dealers name, address and send to the dvla else you will incur a £100 fine.
  3. Car dealers once made easy six figure sums each year buying and selling but it is now much more difficult to make large amounts of money due to competition and savvy car buyers such as you. Be mindful, have a little empathy as well…
  4. Never ask a friend to help you check out a car. If they recommend it and the car becomes unreliable it can break a friendship into dust.
  5. When looking at a car do not call first. Where possible arrive unannounced. This way you can hear the car’s engine from stone cold. You will be starting the car stone cold every day so you’ll want to know what that car is like.
  6. Ask to be left alone when looking at the car. You want few distractions so you can focus on the job in hand and avoid any sales spiel.
  7. It’s likely to be one of your biggest investments so takes your time and if you get to the point of purchase, work hard to get the best deal you possibly can! Every £50 saved is money in the bank.
  8. Be knowledgeable by researching a list of cars you can take a look at. Let the dealer know this early on too. If they think you’re not planning to buy today you can get yourself a particularly good deal. It’s all about scarcity.


a) Acceptable
b) Ask questions/consider repairs
c) Walk away

Okay, let’s get started….

Read the Car Guide, print off the tick sheets, take them with you and use when you go and look at used car your planning to buy.

Buying a used car – The Guide

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