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What To Look For When Buying A Used Car What To Look For When Buying A Used Car

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What To Look For When Buying A Used Car

Published 23rd October 2023Read Time 4 min

Only a few years ago, buying a used car was something of a daunting task. Drivers would only have to go off information found in the local paper or magazine and arrange a quick visual check before deciding if they would buy a car, sometimes on the spot. A lack of awareness and pressure to find a “steal of a deal” on a used car could lead someone to make a rash purchase. 

Thankfully, the process has become much easier thanks to services like The AA Approved Car Program, which helps Irish drivers get a better deal on a used car and a better understanding of what to look out for when buying a used car.  

Previously on the blog, we have detailed some aspects of searching for a used car. In this blog post, we thought it would be a good idea to highlight these and some new tips for areas like buying a used EV. Hopefully, they can help make finding a used car easier for you. 

Understanding when to buy 

The used car market isn’t simply of older motors; it’s much more diverse. There is much more frequency in the used market at specific times of year. Many dealerships with second-hand/approved used options continually try to make space for more stock.  

While there is no such thing as a quiet period in the used car market, some sellers will be keen to make better deals for customers in the last months of each season (March/June/September/December) to meet targets on their end. 

Understanding what used cars are coming into the market  

Car dealerships may also have deals in late Summer around the August bank holiday as they prepare for new models to hit the market in September, making it an excellent time to shop around. 

We have a breakdown of the most popular car brands in Ireland over the last few years to help indicate why you might keep seeing the same names while shopping around.  

Understanding you don’t have to waste time on research 

You are not expected to memorise or understand the history and condition of every single used car you look at. For example, how would you know if a car you’re buying was previously in an accident, was initially registered in the UK, or had work carried out? 

We recommend reading our guide on the specific areas to check out for used cars and finding out the registration of a car you’re seriously considering so you can carry out a car history check

Understanding how to navigate the used EV market 

We’ve only become accustomed to seeing charging points around the country, so it might be surprising to learn there’s a growing market and demand for second-hand EVs. Remember that there are a few add-ons you may need to consider, such as: 

  • Knowing if you have the space for an EV charger at home 
  • Knowing if you can drive within range without issue 
  • Knowing not to overlook the other elements of the car, i.e. don’t forget that tyres, suspension, and such matter just the same 

You can also use the internet to your advantage by researching specific EV models to gauge reliability and community thoughts.  

Remember, The AA is here to help 

If you’re just starting to look for a used car or are working with a specific budget in mind, see what deals local dealerships have on the AA Approved Car program. Car purchased through the network may be eligible for 12-month AA roadside assistance.