If you've got your eyes on a new set of wheels, make sure you’ve prepared yourself with everything you need to know.
Buying a new car is an exciting time for many. Whether you’re getting a run-around after you’ve passed your test or upgrading your sports car to a family saloon, there are plenty of things to consider before heading to the dealership.
What type of car will you need? Will you be buying a new car on finance? When is the best time to buy a new car? With all these burning questions, we’ve put together everything you need to know when the time comes to buy your new motor.
What’s your budget?
Before you speak to the salespeople, make sure you set a clear budget. This could either be an outright payment for the full amount or a monthly finance payment.
If you’re looking at buying a new car on finance, why not consider getting a personal loan instead? You may find that getting a loan to buy a car can sometimes work out cheaper in the long run over a finance agreement through the dealership.
When working out your budget, don’t forget to factor in running costs too. These are often the costs that can catch you out if you’re paying for your new car on a monthly basis. They include insurance, fuel, servicing and road tax. Although you won’t be paying for most of these monthly, it’s a good idea to put a bit of money to one side for when those services and MOTs do end up happening!
What type of car do you want/need?
There are lots of factors to think about when considering the type of car you want or need. Do you really need a brand new car? And if you definitely do, make sure you research the cars that depreciate the least once they’re driven off the forecourt. Makes such as Mini, Audi and Volkswagen hold their value the best, while Peugeot, Renault and Vauxhalls are among the worst.
If you don’t need five doors at this moment in time, why not have a look at the three-door version? Often these come with a smaller price tag and will save you a bit of money.
Think about the engine size you realistically need too. If you don’t need a fast car and are only using your wheels as a run-around to go to town in, consider getting a 1.2 – 1.6ltr engine car. Not only will you save money on the overall price, but you’ll also keep running costs to a minimum too.
When is the best time to buy a new car?
Buying at the right time could mean you get the best deal possible. Typically, dealers and salespeople have quarterly targets to meet so they can get their bonuses. These end in March, June, September and December, making these months the best to buy in!
The need to get rid of the cars they have in stock means they’re more likely to negotiate a much better outright payment or monthly finance deal. Whatever you do, avoid the start of the month after payday. This is when most people head to their local garages to see what they can get their hands on.
Another great time is just before the new number plates are released. This is because dealers want to start to sell the new plated vehicles and need to shift the old ones so they’re out of the way. New plates are typically released twice a year in March and September, so shop around a month or so before that to get yourself a great deal.
What is the best method to buy a new car?
There are so many ways to buy your next car that it can sometimes feel like you’re drowning in a minefield of options. If you’re buying a new car on finance, shop around to see what deals are on the market. You don’t have to choose to go through the dealership to fund your car.
You might be wondering ‘can I use a personal loan to buy a car?’ Yes of course. A personal loan can be a good alternative when it comes to purchasing your new wheels. You’d essentially own the car outright from the dealer and owe money to the lender instead.
If you’re conscious about being tied to a certain number of miles per year, this is a great way to avoid unnecessary additional mileage charges at the end of your finance deal.
Here are some questions you should ask the salesperson before buying your new car:
A new car
Which version do they think suits your needs best?
What features come as standard and what are extra?
How long does the manufacturer’s warranty last for?
Does the dealership offer an additional or extended warranty?
Does the car come with gap insurance?
A used car
Does the car have a full service history?
What checks has the dealership done on the car?
How many previous owners has the car had?
Does it have any modifications? This can affect your insurance.
When is the next service and MOT due?
Is there any warranty left?
It’s important to ask these questions before you buy to ensure you’re getting exactly what you pay for. Buying a used car comes with a few more to ask as you’ll need to know everything possible about the car’s history and condition before you commit to the purchase.
Whichever route you decide to go down with your new pride and joy - new or old, finance or personal loan - if you follow our extensive checklist and advice, you’ll be sure to get the best deal possible and drive away feeling happy.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.