Very few people are fortunate enough to have plenty of spare cash to buy a new car. Combined with the thought of losing half its value in the first 3 years through depreciation, buying a new car can be a very un-appealing concept.

This leaves a lot of people to face the occasional cowboy second hand car dealer intent on ripping you off or selling you an unworthy car on your search of a used vehicle. Let’s face it, no one like the Arthur Dayley Tactics often used by many dealers.

Below we have come up with a guide to help with some myths. Derived from our years of motor trade experience, hope to put your minds at rest.

Myth 1:

Once the vehicle is bought and my name is on the V5 document, it belongs to me and no one can take it off me?


Not always true. Occasionally nicked vehicles or vehicles with finance still owed on them can find their way onto forecourts. Nicked or Financed vehicles are not the dealers to sell so they can be taken off you as they still belong to someone else or the finance company. A simple HPI check can quickly tell you if the vehicle will be yours or remain someone else’s.

Myth 2:

If a car is at a rock bottom price, it must be down to recession and I should pick up that bargain!


If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, even during touch economic times. Buying a cheap car off the forecourt is likely to cost you more in the long run, make sure you don’t buy your car based only on price.

Myth 3:

All cars are pretty good these days both on safety and fuel economy, I shall just buy what I like the look of!


It is fairly true to say that most modern cars on the market are both safe and potentially fuel efficient. However some cars are better than others. Older vehicles however are likely to be dramatically less fuel efficient and less safe compared to cars made after the year 2000. If in doubt check the cars reliability via this reliability check website.

Myth 4:

I’d rather buy a used car from a dealer than privately as I’ll get a good warranty which will cover me if there are any problems.


This is not always the case. Many dealers’ warranties are not worth anything. Should you need a new engine because your timing belt snapped or your high spec sound system has a fault, it is unlikely that the dealer your bought the car from is going to want to know. This is not the case for all car dealers though, but use your instinct and judgment on if the dealer will stand to his word.

Its always worth taking out a good aftermarket warranty to cover yourself from a company such as Warranty Direct.

Myth 5:

Buying based on fuel consumption and the cars MPG will be the primary way to saving money.


Good fuel conception and MPG will save you money, however, if your insurance is over £1000 a year and the up-keep and maintenance is ongoing with huge costs associated, spending more on the vehicle and worrying less on the MPG may be a better way to go. Take a look at for more detailed info on the car your thinking of buying.

Myth 6:

The private seller is happy to meet me at his place of work or a local car garage, that’s because he wants to help me out isn’t it?


You cannot be too careful. Treat every seller like they are trying to rip you off. It is your hard earned money that you are set to loose. We recommend you only meet the seller and vehicle at the property to which the vehicle is registered, and make sure that they can gain access to this property. This means should you have a problem shortly after buying the vehicle, you have a place and door to knock on.

Myth 7:

I’ve got a great trade-in price on my old vehicle so that’s definitely the dealer I’m going with for my next car.


This is often unwise! Often dealers inflate the trade in price to allow themselves to charge more on the next vehicle you’re buying.

Forget all about the trade-in price. What you need to concentrate on is the ‘price to change’. Confused? Use the price of the vehicle you’re looking to purchase and subtract the trade in price – this is the cost to you to change the vehicle and the figure you need to get to its lowest possible.

Myth 8:

The seller claims the car has been serviced but has lost the proof. This isn’t really an issue, I can see a stamp in the book.


Anyone can put a stamp in a book, check by ringing the garage that did the service to confirm it was done but also do your own checks (cleanliness of engine oil etc). The garage that stamped it could be a mate of the seller so if in doubt get an AA used car check for peace of mind.