• Home
  • Car Blog
  • How to Choose the Perfect Used Car: Tips from Concept Car Credit

How to Choose the Perfect Used Car: Tips from Concept Car Credit

How to Choose the Perfect Used Car: Tips from Concept Car Credit

10 August 2023 Concept Car

Perfection – we all want it, yet we rarely achieve it. Especially when it comes to finding a used car, perfection is probably the last thing on your mind. Simple enough, most of us are just glad we can find car finance at an affordable rate.

We believe that you should not have to settle for that. At CCC, you will be able to pick from a wide range of cars, all of them inspected, refurbished and made to look and drive as good as new.

So how do you choose the best one from this selection? That is a question which will take a little longer to answer. It is worth it, though, since finding the perfect car for you will give you years of satisfaction. And it may even save you money, too.

If you’d like to get more personal advice, we’re here to help. Give us a call at … Or use our contact form to get a free quote right now.

Don’t Trust Your Instincts!

This is what some will tell you when it comes to finding the perfect car for you:

“Trust your instincts. A used car is a significant investment, and you should feel confident and comfortable with your choice.”

The thing is: If it were really that simple, why do so many buyers regret their choice after only a few weeks?

We firmly believe that precisely because a car is such a significant investment, it is better to focus on hard facts than your “instinct.” In this guide, we hope to offer you new perspectives which may lead you to arrive at a deeper understanding of what actually constitutes a great choice and what distinguishes it from a bad one.

In the end, your instincts may actually have changed!

Defining perfection: Consider Your Lifestyle and Future Needs

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. This holds true for cars as well. Just to give you one example among many: The Nissan Qashqai was not particularly popular with the reviewers. The new model especially did not get great marks and few would have called it “perfect.” And yet, the Qashqai ended up as a triumphant success story. It turned out to be “perfect” for millions of buyers in the UK and elsewhere.

What we’re saying is this: The perfect used car should not only meet your current needs but also align with your lifestyle and anticipated future requirements.

Some of these may relate to the design of the car and performance. Many will deal with less sexy and merely functional points like passenger capacity, cargo space, fuel efficiency, and any specific features or capabilities that are essential for your day-to-day activities or future plans.

Either way, make a list of of must-have features and prioritise them based on their significance to your daily driving experience. By considering your lifestyle and future needs, you can select a used car that will continue to serve you well in the years to come.

Which factors should be on that list?

Here’s an overview of the 7 most important points to discover the perfect car for you:

  1. Budget: Consider the total cost of ownership, including purchase price, insurance, fuel, maintenance, and potential depreciation.
  2. Vehicle Type: Decide on the type of vehicle that suits your lifestyle, such as a sedan, SUV, hatchback, crossover, minivan, or truck, based on your space requirements and intended use.
  3. Fuel Efficiency: Consider whether you prioritise economy or performance.
  4. Size and Space: Assess the car’s seating capacity, cargo capacity, and overall dimensions to ensure it meets your needs for passengers, storage, and maneuverability.
  5. Safety Features: Look for airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS), stability control, traction control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). Ratings by Euro NCAP can be a great indication here.
  6. Reliability and Durability: Research the car’s reliability ratings, reviews, and manufacturer reputation.
  7. Performance and Handling: This includes engine power, acceleration, braking, suspension, and handling characteristics.

Factors for discovering the perfect car - Concept Car Credit
Is a Used Car a Wise Choice Over a New One?

Yes, it is. We firmly believe that if your budget is limited and your credit score is average to low, there is no reason to spends money on a new vehicle.

While the allure of a shiny new vehicle may be enticing, there are several compelling reasons why opting for a used car can be a smarter and more practical choice. From cost savings to reduced depreciation, let’s explore the advantages of choosing a used car over a new one in detail.

Significant Cost Savings

Used cars are generally more affordable than their new counterparts, allowing you to stretch your budget and potentially purchase a higher-quality vehicle with better features.

Depreciation is particularly high over the first three years of every car’s lifecycle. It is so high, in fact, that even some luxury cars in particular suddenly become affordable even to average-income customers. A few brands are particularly hard hit by high depreciation, Vauxhall being one of them. Others, like Dacia or Volkswagen, are far less affected, (for very different reasons). By opting for a used car, you bypass this initial depreciation and avoid absorbing the associated financial loss.

Generally speaking, by choosing a used car, you can get more value for your money and potentially access models that may have been out of reach when buying new.

Lower Insurance Costs & Registration Fees

This is an important aspect. When budgeting for their next car, many buyers with a bad credit score only consider the monthly payments. But there are additional costs to consider.

In many regions, registration fees are based on the value of the vehicle. As used cars have a lower market value, the registration fees for a used car are generally more affordable compared to those of a new car.

Insurance premiums, too, are typically based foremost on the value of the vehicle. Since used cars have a lower market value than new cars, insurance companies often charge lower premiums for used vehicles.

This can lead to significant savings in insurance costs over the lifetime of the car.

Wider Selection and More Flexibility

In many respects, buying a used car is a far more enjoyable and interesting process than opting for a new one. Effectively, chances of truly finding the perfect car for you are much higher!

This is because the used car market offers a vast array of options, making it easier to find a car that suits your specific needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a particular make, model, or feature set, the used car market provides more flexibility and a broader range of choices.

This applies to the financial side of things as well. With more models, trim levels, and multiple generations available, you have a better chance of finding a car that fits within your budget without compromising on quality or features.

(More) Reliable Performance

Although new cars are often out of range, we do tend to think of them as being better: Safer, more advanced, more comfortable, and more reliable.

Some of these considerations may be true. But ironically, when it comes to reliability, new cars may actually perform worse.

Thanks to advancements in automotive technology, cars are more durable and have longer lifespans than ever before. But like every other technological product, they may experience issues and kinks in their first model generations. These will be ironed out soon enough. This means that not only do you know what you’re buying into with a used version. You can also pick the model generation with the highest user ratings.

By choosing a well-maintained used car with a good ownership history, you can enjoy the benefits of reliable transportation without the hefty price tag of a new vehicle.

Reduced Financing Costs

Financing a used car will typically also be more affordable compared to financing a new car.

Financing a new car does have its benefits. Manufacturers have a vested interest in you buying new. So they will support you by means of attractive financing plans, rebates, or flexible conditions. Some experts even believe that this can make buying a new car cheaper than buying a used one.

This is almost never the case, however. In reality, used car loans usually come with lower interest rates and shorter loan terms. This will result in reduced financing costs. A shorter loan term also means you can pay off the car sooner and potentially save on interest payments over the life of the loan.

Environmental Benefits

We realise this is a bit of a controversial argument. Certainly, new cars are getting more ecological: They make use of more eco-friendly materials and their fuel consumption is usually lower.

That said, opting for a used car can actually be an environmentally conscious choice. By extending the life of a car through used car purchases, you contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions associated with manufacturing new vehicles.

If you’re really serious about becoming greener, you can still retroactively fit your car with more advanced technology to improve its ecological footprint.

How Your Financial Situation Influences the Perfect Used Car Choice

When it comes to finding the perfect used car, your financial situation plays a crucial role in determining the right vehicle for you. Your budget, income, expenses, and overall financial health directly impact the affordability, features, and condition of the used car you can consider.

Let’s say you’ve made a list of the most important points for finding the perfect car fo you. Then there are two potential scenarios:

a) You can afford the perfect car for you
b) You can not afford the perfect car for you

Scenario b) sounds like a major disappointment. But it need not be the end of the story. We have plenty of articles on how to improve your financial health on this blog. By following our advice, you can make big steps towards being able to afford the perfect car after all.

But even if you can afford the car you want straight away, your financial situation will affect your choices. Here are some of the most important points to consider.

Let’s explore the various ways in which your financial situation affects the selection of the perfect used car.

Consider Ongoing Costs

We’ve hinted at this before. But it makes sense to reiterate this point: When thinking about your next car, make sure to consider all costs, not just the purchasing price.

While the purchase price is a significant factor, it’s equally important to consider ongoing costs such as insurance, fuel efficiency, and maintenance expenses. To truly determine the perfect car, include all of these into your calculations. What good is a car if you can’t afford the petrol required to drive it?

A simple plan will help you here:

  • Evaluate the expected insurance premiums for different makes and models, as insurance costs can vary significantly based on factors like the car’s age, safety features, and repair costs.
  • Prioritise fuel-efficient vehicles to minimise long-term fuel expenses.
  • Reliability should be a major consideration. Any unforeseen repair, for example, can cost you hundreds or even thousands of Pounds. Sometimes, a single part can exceed your budget.

Considering these affordability factors helps ensure that the perfect used car fits within your budgetary constraints beyond the initial purchase price.

Balance Depreciation and Value

Financially savvy car buyers understand the concept of depreciation and its impact on the value of a used car. As a vehicle ages, it experiences depreciation, which affects its resale value. Considering your financial situation, you can strike a balance between the depreciation of the used car you choose and the value it retains over time.

We mention this because some car makes are more prone to depreciation than others. By favouring those with great reliability and strong depreciation – which seems an unlikely combination but is more common than you might think – you can get a fantastic car at an amazing price.

Consider Resale Value

Although the primary focus should always be on the present, it’s wise to consider the resale value of the used car you choose. Especially if you want your car to feel perfect in every regard, an excellent resale value can help you create a perfect goodbye for it as well.

Your financial situation may change in the future, and having a vehicle that retains value well can be advantageous if you decide to sell or trade it in later on.

Research the historical resale values of different makes and models to identify those that hold their value better over time. By considering resale value, you can make a more informed decision about the perfect used car for your financial situation.

Financing Options for a Used Car with a Bad Credit Score

For most readers, this will be a significant aspect of the buying process. Especially in the currently difficult economic climate, a bad credit score may present some challenges. Thankfully, it doesn’t mean you’re entirely excluded from obtaining financing for your used car purchase.

There are several financing options available specifically tailored to individuals with bad credit scores. By understanding these options and exploring them thoroughly, you can still make your dream of owning the perfect used car a reality.

Let’s delve into some financing options that can help you secure a loan for a used car, even with a bad credit score.

Specialised Lenders

Sometimes, bad credit lenders are also known as subprime or bad credit lenders. They specialise in providing financing solutions to individuals with poor credit scores. These lenders are more likely to approve your loan application, considering your overall financial situation rather than solely focusing on your credit score.

While interest rates may be higher compared to traditional lenders, specialised lenders offer an opportunity to obtain financing for a used car when other avenues may be closed.

One of the most exciting developments over the past two decades has been the gradual professionalisation of this segment. Today, “bad credit lenders” will often offer a wide selection of models in excellent condition at affordable prices and reasonable interest rates.

Buy Here Pay Here Dealerships

Buy Here Pay Here (BHPH) dealerships offer a financing option where they not only sell you the used car but also provide in-house financing.

BHPH dealerships are more flexible when it comes to credit requirements and may approve your loan application regardless of your credit score.

However, it’s important to note that BHPH financing often comes with higher interest rates and stricter repayment terms. Nevertheless, it can be a viable option for those with bad credit scores who struggle to secure financing through other means.

Here, too, the past years have brought improvements. Quite often, the difference between specialised lenders and BHPH dealers has become negligible.

The Best Used Cars for Individuals with Bad Credit Ratings in the UK

Having a bad credit rating can make it challenging to secure financing for a used car. However, there are still options available for individuals in the UK who find themselves in this situation.

By choosing the right used car, you can maximise your chances of approval and increase your likelihood of obtaining more favourable financing terms. Here are some of the best used cars for those with bad credit ratings in the UK:

Best Used Cars Table Comparison - Concept Car Credit

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is a popular choice for those with bad credit ratings. It offers a combination of affordability, reliability, and low running costs. With its compact size and fuel-efficient engines, the Fiesta is an excellent option for city driving. Additionally, its wide availability and strong resale value make it an attractive choice for both buyers and lenders.

Vauxhall Corsa

The Vauxhall Corsa is another popular used car option for individuals with bad credit ratings. Known for its affordability and practicality, the Corsa is a versatile choice that offers decent performance and a comfortable ride. It’s available in various engine sizes and trim levels, allowing you to find a model that suits your needs and budget.

Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo is a well-built and reliable used car that appeals to buyers with bad credit ratings. It offers a comfortable interior, a range of efficient engines, and a solid driving experience. The Polo’s reputation for quality and longevity makes it an attractive option for lenders, increasing your chances of securing financing.

Peugeot 208

The Peugeot 208 is a stylish and economical used car that’s often available at an affordable price. It boasts a range of efficient engines and offers a comfortable and well-equipped interior. The 208’s distinctive design and competitive running costs make it a desirable option for individuals with bad credit ratings.

Nissan Micra

The Nissan Micra is a practical and reliable used car that’s known for its low running costs and strong build quality. It’s available in various engine options and offers a comfortable and spacious cabin. The Micra’s affordability and reputation for dependability make it an attractive choice for those with bad credit ratings.

Toyota Aygo

The Toyota Aygo is a reliable and economical used car that’s particularly suitable for urban driving. It offers good fuel efficiency, low insurance costs, and affordable maintenance. The Aygo’s reputation for reliability and Toyota’s strong presence in the market can work in your favor when seeking financing options.

Skoda Fabia

The Skoda Fabia is a practical and well-built used car that offers a comfortable ride and spacious interior. It’s available in a range of engines and trim levels, providing options for different preferences and budgets. The Fabia’s affordability and reputation for reliability make it a compelling choice for individuals with bad credit ratings.

Honda Jazz

The Honda Jazz is a versatile and practical used car that offers ample interior space and clever storage solutions. It’s renowned for its reliability and strong resale value. The Jazz’s reputation for quality and Honda’s overall brand reliability can positively influence financing options for those with bad credit ratings.

10 August 2023 Concept Car