Buy Cheap Low Mileage Cars - Hints Tips & Tricks Guide

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Bargain Car Guide - Hints, Tips, Tricks & Super Searches

"How to find low mileage cheap cars at bargain prices fast on eBay"

This guide is a result of too many hours spent on eBay motor auctions. I've found some bargains with these eBay searches saving time and money. The searches here are very general; you can drill these down the usual way by adding the price, make, model, colour, mileage etc to the search. The better you make your search the better to value an item.

Make sure to check out the links to other guides at the bottom of this page, there's excellent advice to prevent you getting scammed, it's worth the time and could save you a lot of money & embarrassment.

If this guide has been helpful please mark, thanks.......happy bargain hunting.


  • Search plus
  • Browse Like This!
  • How to Bag a Bargain Car & not get Cheated
  • TOP TIP  check car user groups
  • Reduce risk - bargain buying top tips
  • Searches that Save you Time and Money - Need a car fast?
  • Bargain Research - things to do BEFORE YOU BID
  • Bid Hawking Win Auctions without paying fortunes.
  • Bid Sniper -Make a computer do the hard work, how to get a free account.
  • Recently Listed BARGAINS
  • Closing the Deal

Search Plus

If you’re looking for a cheap car such as a golf chances are there will be damaged and salvage cars in the results. In the ebay search box type “golf –damaged –salvage” it won’t 100% clean up the result but it helps.
Remember to use the SAVE SEARCH link into your ebay favourites so you have them close to hand.

Browse Like This!

I find the best way to view cars is by quickly scanning prices and pictures, right click on the item link and open in new tab this feature is in most browsers. Once you have 5 or so take the time to carefully read the listings, many you will instantly dismiss: those that catch your eye add to you watch list.

How to Bag a Bargain Car & not get cheated

Normal ebay rules apply check the seller feedback, have you read the ad correctly plus? When hunting for a bargain car you can reduce the risk of being 'lemoned ' by making sure it's what you expect when you arrive. Email any questions or better still call the seller well in advance giving them time to respond, ASK for lots of pictures and be specfiic such as sills etc.

Make sure to price compare, really drill down on the details. Anything you bid or make an offer and the offers is excempted print out the full description and any questions you have asked, if any thing is not as described or major faults missed, hold the seller to account, knock the price down or walk away.

TOP TIP ! check car user groups

Find out about common faults on the car you are buying.  Check Google for car clubs user and look through the forums . Are there common questions and common fixs? I bought a VW LUPO and typed "vw lupo club" in google.

Using this tip to guage what you are buying and the cars pitfalls, where to look when you view or ask the seller for photos. You can also find out how to fix faults for pennies. I have a friend who paid over £800 to fix his VW polo fan heater. All he needed was a water pump. Which eventually costs £150, so over £650 was to the VW dealer who couldn't fix the fault. He eventually discovered the answer by searching google and finding people with similar problems. The lesson is to take the time to research the cars you are bidding on. You can learn alot, is it reliable, where do these car typically rust and ask the seller for a picture, ask current owners questions in the forums, this could save you 100s maybe 1000s of pounds on high value cars. 

Need any parts or spares make sure to check ebay, if you need a body panel you may just luck out and find the color you need. If it's not desperate save your search and get an email update/ALERT set to newly listed. and wait that bit of patience can save you hundreds. There are  other online services and it's worth your time investigating these. I could buy quality bake pads cheaper at the local german swedish store than the same on ebay BUY IT NOW, so ebay is not always best.

Reduce risk - bargain buying top tips

• CHECK seller feedback, number of trades, item location (use postcode) & establish your travel costs.
• SHY? -not! Ask questions, lots of them! use the email seller feature to contact the seller
• PHONE the seller most leave a mobile number. Are they cagey?
• GET more photo's, have they missed anything, ask for more pics.
• COMPARE prices, make sure to use the completed items search to view historic prices for similar cars.

It's worth remembering that BUY IT now can end in minutes of being posted, sometimes you have to jump in to snatch that bargain, so make sure to read the ad carefully and contact the seller, reassure yourself before taking the leap, call them. Always make the minimium deposit with paypal and COLLECT within 5 days, the period which Paypal allows you to clawback your money and before the seller can transfer the money to a bank account.

Searches to save time and money. Need a car fast?

If you need a car urgently try this, search buy it now in your area within a price range.
BUY IT NOW is off the peg and meaning no mincing around with biding. So you want a car fast, try this?
Enter your location (search options)
Less than £1500 (your price)
Mileage (this is the one to have a play with) if your looking for
a bargain.
This search looks for ending auctions around your postcode, vary the mileage options and watch the numbers of items listed change, how far are you prepared to travel? and what at price?
Enter your location (control your travel distance, local or national etc)
Less than (your price)
Mileage less than 50,000 (change this note the numbers of listings change)
Adjusted the time ending to soonest (you’ll find what's being sold in the next few hours)

Making sure it's a bargain.

The Completed Items box displays recent sales prices of your items similar to your search. Make sure to really drill down on the detail, for example if you interested in a black VWgolf mk2 with 50,ooo miles, run this search and then tick completed items.

At the time of writing I found 19 current and 395 completed items for golf, 19 of those where black. The further you hone your search the better to make a estimation of selling price.

Remember these are not like for like comparisons, they give a ball park range. Many things influence price but ultimately it how many people are interested, watching the item and bid.

Completed Items is the most important tool on ebay, establish if you paid a fair price or grabbed a bargain, use it before purchasing any item on ebay. Make sure you are viewing 'all listings'. If you sort only by Buy it now or auctions only you cannot use completed items.

When using completed items make sure to included the details. 

Define you DETAILED search for a  more accurate valuation.

eg black vw golf , less than 50000 miles etc 

Click the completed items button. 

Sort by highest price, You need to interpret the results if you see lots of red results (unsold) the price is to high.  

Scroll down to where the listings turn green (sold). 

To figure out the price range you really need at least 5 recently ended listing to determine a price range providing you interpret the results correctly you can learn alot such as end time, number of bidders and the title of the auction. If you were selling lotus cortina would you include that in the title or add the lotus part in the description?

Definately include in the TITLE but a small percentage of people to actually make this mistake. 

TOP TIP - look for item descriptions mistakes, wrong spelling, bad title most mistakes are common and you can set searches up to track these errors. 

Look at the completed times of the listings auction, end time does matter. If a seller get his timing wrong such an the auction ending at 03:30 on a Wednesday morning you could bag a fantastic bargain (see bidding automation tips). The best time I would guess to sell a car from the seller's point of view would be after 1900 weekdays or around 1800 on a weekend. (needs researching)

My own experience on ebay is that business products sell best during the day and consumer products in the evening and weekends. 

Recently listed Bargains

If you are thinking about buying a cheap car or run as an alternative to hiring a car one of the best way to snag a bargain car fast is to find undervalued BUY IT NOWs, 

Set your search up 

use the sort column for recently listed items. 
use the distance from your postcode
set an ebay alert
save your search 

then run the above search with the completed listings tick box ticked.

Try to arrange multiple viewings (on saturday) so that you can view the local cars in the same day.

As the seller's local contact then ideally by telephone and arrange a viewing be ready to buy. If your buying a car for £100 spending £5 on travel means  5% more cost. So buying locally can be cheaper, I've noticed that many cheap cars on ebay are from Northern Ireland. I would budget at least £200 to get the car home to Essex and so this would not be economic better to spend the extra money another local car on ebay.

If you are going to need a cheap car in the near future once the above searches are saved you can constantly refer back to the updating auction at sort by most recently listed items. You will find some real bargains this way. 

Very cheap cars can be risky, has the item been listed before? If you used the completed item tip above you will know the answer. Can you view the former buyers profile (contact them via ebay). Most ebayers are genuine but it's wise to check.

"If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is"

Seller ads that listed too cheap will not be there long so make sure the item is genuine by email and / or phone. Scrutinise it! Approximate its value by switching to the completed items view and getting the ball park range. The danger is with overexcitement you bid without checking the value first and realise it’s not the bargain you where looking for or misread the listing, so be careful.

BID HAWKING How to win Auctions without paying fortunes.

If you really want an item at a good price here's how to get it.

  • DO NOT BID EARLY because you signal to ebayers your interest & drive the price.
  • DO NOT START AN AUCTION WAR work out in advance your budget & stick to it.

Watching the auction ending and biding in the last 5 seconds is called BID HAWKING any less time and your bid may not be registered. 

How to Bid Hawk, an easy trick.

  1. open the item your bidding on in a new tab,  go through the bid process but DO NOT CONFIRM BID..this is your trigger button for the last few seconds
  2. Use one window to watch the clock (click the refresh icon on the browser, watch the ebay time can figure out how long your browser takes to put the bid in and update)
  3. Use the CONFIRM BID and enter your bid eg £10.09 notice the 9p.
  4. change to and REFRESH the ebay clock window, it does get exciting.
  5. Confirm your bid in the last 4-5 seconds*

* latency, the time from pressing the button to the time of updating. This is why less than 5 seconds is risky. For a really fast connection, latency could be less experiment with your connection to gauge it.

Alternatively you can use a BID Sniper tools - Bid sniping use a computer to bid for you, typically in the closing few seconds of an auction. Open an account (some are free)  enter the auction reference number, set the price and time to bid (2-20 seconds) and let the computer do the rest.

There are two types of sniping tools, one is hosted ie. the service's computers do the work via you accessing there webpage and setting up an account, the other is a program you download and set up making sure to leave your computer switched on at the auction end.

Heres a link to some FREE sniping tools (copy into a new browser window)

Closing the Deal

When it comes to finally closing the deal make sure you have a print out of the auction / listing and correspondences. Make sure to check the car over carefully, look at the sills, tyres, engine bay, tax and paper work. You can use Ebay HPI check service which is well worth the money protecting you from car owned by finance companies and former insurance write offs. Best to spend a few pounds now rather than a very expensive surprise latter.

If you are bidding on many cars ask these questions to the seller, once you've bid and won then pay for the HPI checks if things don't tie up you can report them to ebay and walk away. I'd rather get a nagative than lose £100 on a ringer. If you follow this guide this will not happen but if you fall victim to a scammer don't be afraid to walk away, report them to ebay and the police if it's really serious.

More tips from Ebay Car Buying Guides on Ebay (worth a read)
Buying a Car on ebay some tips
How to avoid buying a stolen Caravan / Car on Ebay
(avoid the crooks)
Rip Off !!!!! - Experienced Car Dealer tells all. (read this)

13 august 2008. Bagged myself a vw polo 1992, 33,000 miles plus service history.
Used the make offer in the last 9 hours, reducing the price to £825 from £995.

The seller has sold the car to someone else for £100 more. Despite having arranged collection. I have recieved my 10% paypal deposit back. I've negged them. This has been a major inconvience as I sold my car on ebay August 16.The buyer collected on the 20th and paid 90% of the remaining balance after a 10% paypal deposit.

You can get great car deals on ebay however these are high value items if you BID for an item and on collection it's not as described, walk away. Printing out the auction, your correspondence emails and any notes you may have made, any major differences walk away.

Bought a seat Arosa in Bournemouth, quite pleased, car had 2 non described bald tyres which I managed to get a £50 discount for.

thanks for reading this guide. If it's been of any help

please mark it as useful above.

any suggestions? contact me via ebay contact member

safe bidding

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