Our 5 top tips to read up on before you part with your cash
Buying a new, nearly new or used car is a complicated process, involving not just decisions about the make and model but also considerations like budgets, financing, running costs and insurance. Throw in the increasing popularity of eco-friendly vehicles and your next car hunt could turn into a real head-scratcher.
Here are our top tips for what to think about when buying your next car
- Work out your budget – and stick to it
Make sure you know how much you can afford to spend, whether that‘s buying outright, via finance or part-exchange. If you’re trading in an old car, look up its trade-in value first e.g. via Autotrader (autotrader.co.uk/cars/valuation).
- Work out the running costs
If you have a particular make and model in mind, research the running costs such as insurance, annual road tax, servicing, maintenance, MOTs and the car’s fuel consumption. The RAC has a handy online mileage calculator (rac.co.uk/route-planner/mileage-calculator/).
- Always ALWAYS do a test drive
No matter how much you believe you’ve found the right car, a test drive is an important part of thoroughly testing a vehicle and making sure you really want to buy the car. You’re spending a lot of money on it, so you should do the most you can to ensure that you feel comfortable and enjoy driving it. And remember a test drive is not a commitment to buy.
- Know your rights
Here’s what the law says about buying a car:
When you buy a car from a garage dealer or trader, your consumer rights are protected in law. The car must be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for any stated purpose
If you buy at an auction, you don’t have the same rights if the cars are “sold as seen”. Check the auction’s conditions of sale before you buy. These conditions must be displayed prominently at the auction or in the catalogue
If you buy online from a dealer, you have the same rights as you would if you walked into the dealership and bought face to face
If you buy privately, it’s a case of “buyer beware” – it’s up to you to ask the right questions and inspect the car thoroughly before you buy
- Take your time
Whilst it might be exciting to get out on the road in your new car, it’s important that you don’t rush. Ideally you’ll be driving this car for a few years, so you’ll want to make sure you won’t have any major regrets further down the line. If you’re not entirely sure what you should be looking for, take a family member or trusted friend around with you when you go to look at new or used cars. A second opinion can help you make up your mind.
About the Author: Helen Say is a freelance copywriter and blogger www.cblservices.co.uk