So you’ve decided to buy a new car. It’s a big decision, not least because of the financial outlay involved. Maybe you’ve just passed your test and this is your first car; chances are you don’t have much money to throw around, but you’re looking forward to having the freedom and independence your own car will give you. Or maybe you’ve just started a family, or have a new addition on the way, and you need something bigger and safer to get you all from A to B.
There are many reasons why you might choose to get a new car, and these reasons will affect your buying decision. But whatever they are it’s still important to make sure that you get the best deal that you can. If you know what to look out for then your potential savings can be significant. None of us can afford to pay over the odds for a new car, and with this handy guide you won’t have to.
What do you really need?
The first thing to do is to separate essentials, or must-haves, from desirables. What qualities do you absolutely need, and what are the ones that you would like but at a pinch can live without? Is having a powder blue finish a deal breaker, or is space for all three kids on the back seat more important? Dividing what you’re looking for into two lists and taking this with you will help to make sure that you get the car you’re really looking for.
Buy a used or pre-registered car
Okay, you’ve decided you want a new car. But before you commit, just give one last thought to whether a second-hand model would suit you just as well. Even one that’s just a couple of years old, still in ‘as new’ condition and with minimal mileage on the clock, can be 50% cheaper at least than a brand new vehicle. Even better are pre-registered cars that dealers have bought themselves in order to meet their sales target for the last quarter. These are still effectively new cars but are often heavily discounted when they’re sold on.
Get the right financing
Most of us don’t have the money in the bank to buy a new car outright. We generally have to borrow, either from the bank, family members, or a loan company. However, not all car loans offer the same terms, so it pays to shop around. Compare conditions and interest rates rather than taking the first financial deal that’s available.
Think about running costs
Smaller cars tend to be cheaper to run and cheaper to insure. Petrol cars are usually cheaper to buy than diesel ones, and petrol is a cheaper fuel, but diesel is more economical in terms of miles to the gallon. Hybrid eco cars are more expensive to buy but are more economical to run, and sometimes come with government grants or tax breaks when filing taxes.
Whatever the car you choose, there’s no reason to pay more than you have to. Go in knowing what you’re after, get your financing in order and keep an eye out for those hidden costs, and your dream car could cost you less than you think.