Fourteen hours. That’s the average amount of time people take to research the used car model they want. This makes sense to us: buying a car is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. However, the same amount of time isn’t taken to research the car dealer to buy it from, which needs to change. We believe the right car will always come from the right place. Read on for our five tips for buying a used car from a dealer.

Choosing a reputable used car dealer comes down to lots of things. However, to make things a bit easier we’ve outlined the five main questions you should ask yourself before making any final decisions.

1. Does the dealer have a strong online presence?

A good, functional website is a positive sign of a reputable business. Take a look around and see if it’s easy to browse and navigate – a disorganised website could indicate a disorganised company.

Secondly, search for information around the dealer’s reputation. Any reputable company will want to promote the way they operate and their previous success. What’s more, you’ll also get a good indication of whether their approach to doing business matches with how you like things done.

Thirdly, make sure there is plenty of information on the cars they have listed. For instance, there should be be lots of images of the interior and exterior, a detailed record of specification, previous owners, mileage, etc.

2. Have you read the dealer’s reviews?

Reviews can give you a good understanding of the overall quality of the dealership. In addition, reviews give insight into their previous customers’ experiences. It is a great sign when the dealer is comfortable asking for reviews and posting them on their website or social media platform. This suggests that they are passionate and confident about their customer service.

As well as checking the dealer’s website, it’s also good to have a look at their social media platforms. Since these platforms encourage interaction between customers and business, you’ll get a good sense of their customer service levels. If there are questionable conversations on their social media platform, that’s not a good sign.

3. How long has the dealer been trading for?

Selling used cars can be a tough business so many used car dealers come and go. Of course, this can be due to a number of uncontrollable factors. However, it’s also important to consider that well-established dealerships remain in the market for a reason.

Bear in mind that if you have issues with your car and it is under warranty, you’ll not be able to get a resolution if they stopped trading twelve months earlier! Therefore, it is usually safer to choose a well-established dealership.

4. Is the dealer a member of any industry-recognised associations?

Being a member of recognised associations proves that you are proud of what you do. What’s more, you are willing to be held accountable for your work. All reputable dealers should display a trade association member logo. Probably more than other industries, this is considered a must in the car dealership trade.

Examples of associations that are worth looking out for are the ‘Financial Conduct Authority’ (FCA), the ‘Institute of the Motor Industry’ (IMI) or ‘Retail Motor Industry Federation’ (RMIF).

5. What aftercare would be available to you?

Buying a car is a substantial commitment. You’ll want to be sure that you are safeguarded if anything should go wrong. That’s why we believe every reputable dealer should have some form of aftercare scheme in place.

If a dealer is willing to offer good aftercare services (such as MOT, car repairs or car servicing) you know that they are committed to looking after their customers.

What My Car Credit offers

We recognised how challenging it can be to look for a used car. We hope these tips for buying a used car help you in your search. In addition, we have our own network of approved ‘My Car Dealers’.

My Car Dealers have been vetted by us for their status with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which establishes their trustworthiness and financial stability. What’s more, we conduct audits to ensure that they are personable too. You’ll get access to an extensive stock list of quality nearly-new and used cars. In addition, you can be confident that you’ll get a wide choice, the best experience and excellent after-sale service.

So, put these tips for buying a used car into action today and get the wheels in motion for your next car!

Rates from 9.9% APR. Representative APR 12.4%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

My Credit Rating


  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed


  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs


  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit


  • You may have had frequent changes in address
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  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past


  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan

X monthly repayments of

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable




*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score*

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 12.4%, annual interest rate (fixed) 12.36%, 47 monthly payments of £196.44 followed by 1 payment of £206.44 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £1,939.12, total amount payable is £9,439.12.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Please ensure you can afford the repayments for the duration of the loan before entering into a credit agreement.

*Initial application is a soft search. Should you progress, some lenders may perform a hard search on your credit file.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!