Not so long ago the used car dealer was seen as quite a dodgy character, sort of a Del-boy type, out to make a fast buck in whatever way he could and moving on just as swiftly. You could never be quite sure if you were getting a genuinely good deal on a car or whether you would drive down the road and have it fall apart on you.
Cut and shuts became the phrase of the day and gadgets to wind back mileage clocks were the tools of the trade. At times, buying from a used car dealer meant taking your life in your hands.
However, these days, things are a little different. Due to a great deal of effort in the industry, the used car dealer has taken on a whole new persona. Of course, you will still get the occasional dodgy dealer but that is the same for every industry. More and more though, used cars are becoming a very worthwhile investment.
There are two groups of car buyers. The ones that think nothing of paying out tens, or even hundreds of thousands of pounds for a car and this article is not directed at those fortunate few who can afford to do this without batting an eyelid. This article is more for those who prefer to keep their hard earned cash for the other necessities in life, such as food and a roof over the head. For these, transport is still an absolute essential and it can be difficult to find a reliable car that comes within a sensible price range.
This is where the used car dealer comes in. High demand means that quality second hand cars are called for and the industry has taken off at a time when others, including the sales of new cars, has slowed down significantly. This is good news, not only for those used car dealers looking to make a respectable living, but also for the customers.
Used cars are much more in demand and the quality of the requested cars has also had to come up to a certain standard. The choice is much more widespread and the competition is pretty fierce meaning that you have more bargaining power and more shopping around possibilities than ever before.
Unlike buying a new car, you don't have to use a specialist garage or car dealers. You can go to any forecourt sales area and find yourself with a wide choice of used cars from the basic through the family cars to the luxury end of the market. There will be a choice of colours, sizes, styles and ages and there will no doubt be one that will suit your budget.
And therein lies the beauty of today's used car industry. You do not have to be made of money to be able to purchase a pretty good car that will see you through. The used car dealer will also offer other opportunities that you wouldn't get if you chose to buy a car from a private seller, although this comes at a price but nothing in life is free.
With a reputable car sales dealer, you will be supplied with a guarantee that covers a set period, usually a minimum of three to six months. They can offer this because the car has normally had a thorough check over and all the basics that could possibly go wrong in the near future will have been corrected so that the car is sold as safe as possible. This is not a luxury you get with a car from a private seller and peace of mind is usually worth the extra few quid.
Expert buyer Catherine Harvey looks at the improvement of the reputation of the used car dealer and how they are experiencing good business.