How to Buy A Used Car When You’re on A Tight Budget

For most people in the UK having a car is essential as they may need it for work or getting the children to and from school. 

It’s also a must have for leisure activities too – maybe a short break in this country or a trip to visit friends or relatives – without your own wheels it’s far more challenging, especially if you are forced to rely on public transport.

There are more than 30 million licensed drivers in the UK, driving around in anything from a £500 run-around through to a high-end sports car costing six figures.

Buying cars is big business with more than of 1.6 million used cars being purchased in the first quarter of this year, with over 638, 500 of these changing hands in March alone.

A lot of people have held off changing their current car during the covid lockdown, with many garages closed for car sales business, so now that restrictions are easing there will be no shortage of people looking to upgrade to a newer car.

However, buying a decent used car can be challenging if you are on a tight budget and don’t have the luxury of a big savings balance to dip into to make the purchase.

That doesn’t mean that you have to save up for months to buy a car. If you’re on a limited budget and need something quickly to help get you around, there are plenty of affordable vehicle finance deals to choose from. 

You’ll probably have to be realistic with your options – you’re won’t be troubling the local Porsche dealer for example. 

Equally you shouldn’t have to settle for something straight out of the scrapyard either. 

Many people use loans or hire purchase plans when buying their chosen car and even if your credit record isn’t in the best shape, there are plenty of bad credit car finance options available.


Buying a car is a major financial commitment. No matter who you are, you should take some time to consider the implications such a purchase will have on your life. 

If you’re sure you’re ready for a vehicle, it’s time to figure out what’s within your budget. You need to be honest with yourself when putting together your car-buying budget. Failing to do this will only result in greater difficulties for you down the line.

Before you head down to your chosen garage, it’s vital that you run through your budget in detail so you know exactly how much you can afford to pay out each month.

Be realistic with your trade in expectations too, otherwise you may be disappointed and unable to purchase that car you’ve set your heart on.

Remember it’s not just the car finance costs you need to pay for, but also insurance, fuel, servicing, tax MOT and repairs need to be included in your calculations too.

When you go to buy your new vehicle, don’t be afraid to give it a thorough check before parting with your cash. 

If you don’t know too much about vehicles, take someone with you who is a bit more car savvy – make sure you get a warranty, even if it is just for 3 months, at least that gives you some comeback if there are any issues with your new wheels.

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