Should you be unable to afford a new or relatively new car you will be looking at the used car market to find your next vehicle.
Your first consideration is whether to buy from a private seller perhaps from an online auction site or as advertised in the local paper or whether to visit a local car dealership to see whether there are any cars that may be suitable and in your price bracket.
The cost of the car will usually be more expensive from a dealership, but you are usually given a short warranty which is good for your peace of mind. If you are buying from a private seller it is worthwhile checking online to see past MOTs and any advisories that have been issued so that you can ask the seller if these have been dealt with. If you can take a mechanic with you to view and test drive the car before you buy it may give you an indication of the car’s worth and any issues it may have.
Although reliability cannot ever be guaranteed when buying a used car, if checks are made before purchasing the chances of getting a car that can be relied upon will be greater.