In the housing world, there is a well-known saying, always buy the worst house on the best street. We have a similar saying in the used car world too. The best buys are the very early model year cars.
For example, if you are looking to purchase a new VW Golf, then you need to look for the latest model year and roll back to when they first released it. A mark six golf came out in 2009 and ran to 2012; this means there are very few differences between a 2009 car and a 2012 car.
Of course, you may be thinking that you want a newer car, but the truth about purchasing used cars is that age is irrelevant. You need to focus more on the way a car has been treated. There are lots of ways you can do this. Mileage will give you an idea of how far the car has travelled, although you also shouldn’t be put off buy a higher mileage car. You could come across a 2010 VW Golf which has only done 40,000 miles. However, all 40,000 of those were done on the red line, and the driver had terrible clutch control. Compare that with an 80,000 miles car which has been driven smoothly and never taken above 300 RPM you might begin to see that mileage doesn’t tell you as many secrets as other parts of the car.
The interior and the key is usually a good sign, how much wear is there? Do you consider that excessive? It is important your interior looks sharp as it is far harder to repair it. The exterior bodywork is another great clue to how the car has been treated. It could be said that a car with more dents and scratches hasn’t been as cared for as a car with pristine bodywork, if the owner hasn’t cared about the body, have they cared for the engine?
The best thing about buying the older version of the model year you like is that you are going to be paying far less for it and when it comes to selling, you will have a larger market. If it bothers you that people might know your car is a little older, there are some great ways to disguise that, the first being to consider a private plate. You can get some pretty subtle ones from absolutereg.co.uk, of course, you could be a little more obnoxious about it too, as these examples show! With a personalised plate, it will be very hard for anyone else to distinguish the age of your car.
When buying second hand, don’t always go for the youngest model, because pretty soon that one is going to be the outdated model and you might regret spending that little bit extra on it. Buy savvy and use your common sense to work out how your car has been driven and if it is a sound investment.