Buying a used car: Top tips

Our car buying tips will have you well equipped the next time you are looking to buy

Tuesday 24th of January 2023 12:00 GMT

3 minute read

We have over 25 years of experience selling great quality used cars, our top tips will ensure you have a hassle free car buying experience.

Used Car Top Tips

In the market for a new car? Frustrated due to the ever expanding range of makes and models available? It can be tricky to know where to start! Whether you are a first-time buyer or an existing owner, here are some of our top tips to make your car buying experience hassle free.

1. Research

Research is key when it comes to buying a car. Look into different makes and models, read reviews, compare prices and finally, history check the potential contender. Paying for a vehicle history check will reveal any previous incidents, service history and many other factors. That way, you can make a more informed decision.

2. Finance

If you are hesitant to part with your hard earned cash. (and rightly so), you may want to explore car financing. There are a few different finance options available that will suit your lifestyle and budget. All finance options we offer will be carefully explained by our friendly finance team, ensuring you understand exactly what to expect. Whether you have outstanding finance or it's your first time - we can assist you through every step of the way.

3. Test Drive

Don’t just rely on research – get stuck in and test drive the car before you make a final decision. This way you can get a feel for the cars handling, seating position, comfort level and most importantly, how the car drives.

4. The price is right, or is it?

Just because a car has an attractive price tag doesn't always mean you're getting the best deal. More often than not, choosing the cheaper option could land you with some hefty sums in the form of repair bills. Not to mention the stress and headache caused by the inconvenience.

For better peace of mind, the safer approach would be to shop for similar cars around the middle price band.

Cash is no longer king, and having a part exchange to offer is a much more valuable asset when it comes to buying a new car. Doing so will benefit you by either:

  • Reducing the total cost of the car
  • Using it to settle any outstanding finance
  • Potentially getting a better deal

Side note: If you have a private number plate, make sure you remove it before the sale of the vehicle takes place. Otherwise, you could risk losing the plate.

5. Extra products

When buying a used car, it is recommended that a minimum of 1 year extended warranty is considered. Buying a car is a large investment, and so, any form of protection that will help you save money on mechanical bills and help get a better price when it comes to selling the car is a must!

In the UK, it's no secret that we are are exposed to poor weather, poor road quality and tons of salt during winter months. All of these factors have a hand in damaging your paint work. So protecting it would be a good idea. Many dealers offer paint & interior protection packages that will not only protect, but also guarantee.

Buying a car is a big investment, so make sure you do your research and shop around. With a little bit of preparation, you should have no problem finding the perfect car for you.

Thank you for reading our used car buying tips, I hope this helps in your car buying journey.

Recent Customer Reviews

4.79 Average
1931 Reviews
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Scott Sturrock

Although I travelled from Scotland to collect a car I had not driven, I found Direct Cars very helpful with videos and pictures. Communication was quick and efficient, as was the whole process of purchasing ...

Posted 1 week ago

Kenneth Vernon

No problems at all with the part exchange and purchase of our new car. Tom Breeze very helpful throughout.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Zoe Keightley

first of all great site where cara are displayed,, lots of room around vehicles to look around ,, no pressure sales like most garages,, sean the salesnab was brilliant,,, also from being seventeen i ...

Posted 2 weeks ago

Julie Heptinstall

Couldn't fault Luke very professional

Posted 2 weeks ago

Debra Thew

Excellent service they were there to answer any questions. Very friendly staff.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Shaun Weldrick

Really enjoyed buying from direct cars…no hard sell, they let an excellent array of used cars do their talking… thanks to Tom for simple and straightforward advice and relaxing easy going selling.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Christopher James

Daniel was really helpful and we never felt under pressure. He was polite, friendly and did all he could to help. The showroom was very welcoming for children as well with Lego etc which made it an easier ...

Posted 3 weeks ago


Relaxed atmosphere no pressure. Easy to understand t&c format. Care and attention to detail.

Posted 3 weeks ago


Impressed with the service,no hard sell ,sorted a couple of minor issues with vehicle .
Tbh i was just about done looking at cars having been worked over by various salesmen (which I have very little ...

Posted 3 weeks ago


I purchased my new car from yourselves, Shaun was very helpful and the transaction was very smooth. I had to take it for a repair after 2 days due to a slow puncture but the process was really good ...

Posted 1 month ago

Jill Wallace

Genuinely nice staff. Very helpful.

Posted 1 month ago

James Hardy

Very helpful,thorough and efficient.

Posted 1 month ago

Gary Greenhoff

We purchased a car recently and again we were satisfied with the entire buying process.
Shaun the sales person once again was very professional and funny.
Me and my wife have purchased many vehicles ...

Posted 1 month ago

John Wallbanks

Excellent customer service from our first telephone contact through to our final on line purchase.Your sales adviser Mr Ian Whiting is a credit to your organisation and you are lucky to have such a professional ...

Posted 1 month ago

Julie Marcus

Saw the car online and made an appointment to view. Really lovely friendly helpful staff who listened to what I wanted. Would highly recommend

Posted 1 month ago


Fast efficient service with no hassle

Posted 1 month ago

Jason Mark Holland

Ian the salesman was very helpful. Buying me new car was easy and straightforward with Direct Car. I would recommend them to anyone wishing to purchase a used car from them

Posted 1 month ago


& really friendly staff. Excellent customer care myself & my family have had several cars from Direct Cars & also back to when it was Eckington motor company. I would highly recommend to anyone

Posted 1 month ago

Pauline Hurt

I went to purchase a vehicle but decided to choose another car which I am very happy with.
The salesman let us look at our leisure no pressure at all, but when I found a car I was interested in we felt ...

Posted 1 month ago

Jayne Dawson

Polite and helpful

Posted 1 month ago