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Used Car Supermarket - The Choice is Yours

Aug 15, 2008
They say that buying a house is potentially the most stressful purchase of one's life. I was about to challenge this notion but then after a couple of brief personal reminiscences about buying houses like the time when we discovered that the previous occupants in their wisdom decided to take the central heating system with them. Or in the case of our current property, we don't actually own the end of our garden due to some ancient covenant that had been conveniently overlooked by the seller.

With that in mind I decided to concede the above statement as accurate and move on to what must undoubtedly be the second most stressful purchase in life which is buying a used car.

We've all read stories about people losing thousands of pounds by buying what they thought was their dream car only to find it had been welded to the other half of someone else's dream car by some unscrupulous individual.

Until a few years ago when it came to buying a used car your choices were fairly limited, you could buy privately which although didn't always end in tears you were lucky to get a sound vehicle. True you might have saved some money but you would have paid more in the long run. I have numerous tales from people I know most of them fairly clued up individuals who have come a cropper by buying what they thought was a bargain from some bloke in a car park.

I myself am not exempt from such tales which I won't bore you with right now although I must cite the example when I bought a Citroen CX from my girlfriends' Uncle no less! The car was unlocked when I test drove it, fair enough I thought but it was also unlocked when I collected it and on arriving home I realised why. The door locks didn't actually work you see and I had to pay to have them repaired, soon after that the suspension collapsed leaving another large bill and causing a few heated exchanges between myself and the charlatan who sold me a shed. Suffice to say that my relationship also ended up in the scrap yard!

If this wasn't enough to put you off there was of course the notorious used car dealer usually found beneath some railway arches smoking cheap cigars and offering a battered array of ex-taxis usually with a warranty not worth the paper it was forged on.

If you were really brave or stupid (fine line between them here) you may have ended up at a car auction bidding along side the likes of "Mr underneath the arches" where you may end with something that would get you home and then fall to bits on the driveway.

The vast majority of people ended up visiting the franchised dealers where you were offered copious amounts of weak coffee and were subjected to lots of jolly banter from 16 year old sales people wearing suits a couple of sizes too big for them. At least though the cars were of better quality and you may have been able to haggle about the price without being assaulted. Warranties were usually available and they could offer finance deals. Part exchange of your old car could be quite favourable so you wouldn't have to endure selling your car privately.

Independent dealers arose to offer a more competitive edge from the franchised boys but still offered a good service compared to our friend with the tattoos.

In recent times many other players have entered the market but the most successful has been the Used Car Supermarket, pretty much as the name suggests they offer a large amount of stock competitively priced and with a high turnover. Most people these days are far more educated when it comes to buying cars so will have done their research before hand and compared prices and then been able to bag a good deal at the car supermarket.

You probably won't get far haggling over prices (just try it at Tesco's) but usually what you see is what you get and there is a wide choice of mainstream models on offer.

With so many options available to the used buyer these days it is largely a matter of personal choice where you part with your hard earned cash but rest assured the Used Car Supermarket is here to stay and may save you a packet.
About the Author
Jon Barlow has been looking at the pitfalls of buying a used car this week and tried the Used Car Supermarket for a few bargains
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