Hello everyone, it’s time for me to go and buy a used car. 

There is a backstory to all this and the details are bound to emerge about just how I have got myself into this situation. Right now all you need to know is that I have to buy a car, that I will drive, but I am not the primary pilot. 

Therefore it needs to be neat, tidy, reliable and be subject to the half-chance Bangernomic borderlines that I usually specialise in.

Because of that I’m not sure whether to buy a really well-looked-after example from a fine, upstanding private seller or a motor-trade type who has to deliver what they promise. 

Now I have bought cars from every possible source, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. The problem I have with this purchase is that I can’t buy just anything, as there are certain inviolable requirements. So in the past I could get a phone call about an unsuitable part-exchange which cost buttons, but that won’t do. So I have to hit the search engines and the road to do it the hard way.

Now, I’ve only had good experiences buying privately. I find if you pick the crunchy drives and one-foot-thick service histories it is hard to go too far wrong. With the car trade, though, getting the payment sorted and paperwork done is less of a faff. And the car is often all buffed and ready, too. The bottom line is that you can even pay a tad less from the trade with realistic pricing depending on where the car actually came from.

The question is, then, do you have a preference about where you shop? Private or trade?