How Far Should I Travel to Buy a Used Car?

Searching for a new vehicle to replace your old one is both a fun and stressful experience at times; not only is it necessary to search through hundreds of advertisements to find a car that fits all your criteria, but it is also important to make sure that you are getting a good deal price-wise from a reputable and trustworthy dealer.

Another factor to take into account is how far you live away from the dealership or private seller, as this can make a huge difference in terms of time and money spend on the whole endeavor. So just how far exactly should you be willing to travel to buy the used car of your dreams?

The first thing is to remember that some vehicles may be worth travelling for.This is especially the case if you are looking for a specific make or model of vehicle that is otherwise hard to come by in your region or even in the country as a whole.
An example of this would be if you are looking for a right-hand drive car for your regular trips to Europe, or a certain model of MG that is no longer in production. For rarer vehicles, it may be necessary to travel to find the car that ticks all your boxes.

Other vehicles may not be worth travelling so far for. Vehicles that are extremely common in the UK – such as Vauxhall Corsas, VW Polos and Renault Meganes – should be available in sufficient number wherever you live in the UK. Car sales dealerships in your area are worth contacting first if you are interested in a popular vehicle such as those listed.

In addition to the vehicle you are after being a rare one, there are several other reasons why you might be willing to travel to collect the car, including the vehicle being in an exceptionally immaculate condition. A low price, however, should not be one of those reasons.

One thing that many people can overlook is the fact that a very low price can be an indicator that the car being sold is not in the best condition it could be. Although the photos of the vehicle on the car sales pages of the dealership may look impressive, it is important to question why a car is fetching a lower or higher price than is average for that specific make and model.

Take the time to thoroughly vet each vehicle as much as you can before you make the journey to see it “in person”. Explain to the dealer that you are thinking of travelling far and would like some additional photos, or ask them to give you details of the full service history – these can help you understand the vehicle pricing better.

After asking all the questions you need to over the telephone or by email and you are satisfied with all that you have heard and seen so far, consider taking a risk and taking a trip to see the vehicle. Be aware, however, that the car may not be as good as you expected when you get there, and in all cases do not feel pressured to drive away with the car just because of the effort you have made.

Some of the best dealerships will offer to pick you up and transport you to their premises, Companies that do this can make life a whole lot easier and less expensive for you, but again, do not feel obliged to accept an offer just because they have made an effort for you to come to them.