Records show that demand for second-hand cars in Britain has never been higher. But even with plenty of supply the best used cars are often hard to find, although they don't have to be, if you know what you're looking for, and when best to look for them. James Ruppert has built a handy guide to make sure your next used purchase is only the best.
We all know that cars come in many different flavours, sizes and specs, but that’s only part of the story – or journey – of our cars. They start out showroom fresh and then gradually spiral down in desirability and up in affordability. All we have to do is pick our moment to pounce.
Some motors make more sense at different times in their existence and the fun part is predicting the most opportune time to buy. It all depends on how much of a risk you want to take. But just about everything seems to become desirable at some point in its life – given enough time.
In theory, with unlimited funds and storage facilities, you might eventually win the car ownership long game. But because few of us are lucky enough to be set up that way, or we simply don’t have the patience, we’re going to explain the potential short cut to finding the car of your dreams for less than you thought. We have selected some examples in the most important groups, from practical to highly desirable.
But first, it’s worth knowing the basic rules that almost every car in circulation follows. So here you’ll see the life cycle for many of the cars in our lives. Obviously, Ferraris and Porsche 911s don’t really do these sorts of things, but most motors do. So let’s take a look at just what the future has in store for some of our used car favourites.
For some, new is the only way to buy. New cars are the only cars that can properly deliver that intoxicating showroomfresh aroma. Not only that, but we can also pick our dream specification. However, the price we pay is not only the recommended retail one but also the slightly longer-term – and colossal – cost of depreciation.