Getting the best used car deals this winter

How to find a used car bargain in winter

Finding the best used car deals can be time consuming and tough. With a huge selection of vehicles available, and competing offers advertised, it can be difficult to work out which cars represent the best value for money, and which dealers you can rely on to treat you fairly.

Is winter a good time to buy a used car?

Winter can be a great time to make big savings on used cars. The market slows down as people tend to focus their energy and spending on Christmas and the New Year, and many put off car buying decisions until the spring.

“The winter months can be the best time to buy a used car,” AA Cars CEO James Fairclough advises. “Forecourts are usually well stocked and dealers want to move as much stock as possible before the end of the calendar year, to hit their sales targets. Knowing that fewer people are in the market to buy at this time of year, savvy dealers will often lower their asking prices or be much more receptive to customer negotiation and add in extras to close the sale.”

So winter could be an ideal time to pick up your next car, or to upgrade to something you might not normally be able to afford.

Which cars are there good deals on in winter?

Sales of convertibles and sporty coupes peak in the spring and summer, when driving them is understandably more appealing. But you could still get a great used car deal as these models can linger on the forecourt in winter. Dealers keen to sell these kinds of cars may be open to negotiating a good price.

Take a look at sporty hard-tops, soft-tops and coupes like the Mazda MX-5Audi TT, and BMW Z4, which can be heavily discounted at this time of year.

How do I find the best deals on small second-hand cars?

The Suzuki Swift is one of the most loved small cars currently available on the market. Fuel efficient, reliably built and fun to drive, Suzuki have packed power, precision and functionality in to their compact. An ideal first car, the Swift more than holds its own against the industry leaders at an attainable price point.

Cars such as the Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Golf are also often widely available on the used markets. This larger volume of vehicles can lead to you snapping up a bargain, as dealers will be looking to try and quickly sell models where they may have a surplus of supply.

Which car should I buy to deal with the winter weather?

Sales of 4x4s peak at this time of year as people search for the best cars to drive in snow. If this is a priority for you, you can still get a good deal on a used 4×4. One popular choice is a Land Rover. The Discovery offers you lots of space and peace of mind, no matter what the weather holds. As one of the most popular all-terrain vehicles, they can be expensive but there are great deals to be had at this time of year.

A more affordable option is the Land Cruiser by Toyota. Rated highly for its all-terrain ability and practicality in any weather, there are plenty of good deals on these used cars.

If you’re wanting more luxury at a lower cost, Kia have produced an SUV with handsome design, comfort and control at its heart, in the Sorento. Offering a high riding position and a modern spec, it makes an excellent family car.

Whichever option you choose, it’s worth considering having it inspected by a professional to make sure you’re getting a reliable car. Also, having the vehicle data checked to get its full history can reassure you that there won’t be any issues further down the line. All cars listed on AA Cars have been data checked.

How can I finance my new car?

Whichever vehicle you’re looking to buy – and whatever time of year – AA Car Finance can be a useful, straightforward and accessible way to make the process more affordable.

Use our online tools to evaluate your eligibility for finance. Our checker can quickly give you a good idea of how much finance you could get. You’ll also get a quote that’s valid to use for 30 days, should you then want to apply for AA Car Finance. 

Image courtesy of iStock.

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