How to buy a used car: Top tips from an expert

When to buy: Nearly new, approved used, GAP

What, no Nissan Leaf? They could become fairly huge paperweights in a decade’s time if you can’t replace the battery pack. The Twizy at least looks like you could use your gran’s mobility scooter to jump start it. It also looks groovy and is huge fun to get about in.


Volvo XC90

When to buy: New, nearly new, approved used, GAP

Surely, there’s some mistake here, isn’t there? The Range Rover ought to be on top in the posh 4×4 stakes, right? Well, if we’re being picky, the Toyota Land Cruiser should be here, except that it’s as stylish as a bog brush – which is where Volvo comes in. If you thought the previous XC90 was cool, clever and anti-bling, the latest one is the new middle-class hero of school-run mums with none of the nasty Range Rover baggage.

That’s reason enough to join the queue and pay full retail. Sensible buyers may choose to wait, possibly years, until the latest XC90 becomes truly affordable and any operating issues have been sorted. For those who can’t wait, there are dealer demonstrators in circulation, which seems like the best route for early Scandie Tractor adopters. It will be just as solid in half a century’s time.

Range Rover and Range Rover Sport

When to buy: Approved used, GAP, banger, ironic classic

As 1970s three-door Rangies reach the value stratosphere, it’s hard to imagine that the latest gaudy gin palace Footballers’ Wives ones are going to do the same. We suspect that the slightly naughty Sport will have more of a future-proof afterlife – provided it doesn’t break down.


Subaru BRZ

When to buy: New, approved used, GAP

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