Buying a car should be a fun and exciting experience but it can seem daunting too. By following some simple tips you can be sure that you find the right car for you and get a good deal.
The first thing you need to do is decide on what type of car you want and make a shortlist of suitable models. Whether you’re buying new or used there’s plenty of choice so take your time. Think about how much you can afford to spend and what kind of car will best suit your day-to-day needs.
Deciding to buy new or used is a more difficult decision. If you can afford to buy new you’ll get the benefit of a longer warranty along with the latest safety and efficiency features. But remember that cars lose a lot of value in their first year then depreciate more slowly after that. Spending the same amount on a used car means you’ll have a vehicle that holds its value better. Of course some cars lose more than others. You can check on the used values of the models you’re considering by using Glass or a similar website.
Visiting the Garage
Once you know what type of car you want it’s time to go shopping. If you’re buying from a dealer rather than privately this can seem daunting. After all it’s the salesman’s job and most of us are just amateurs. The key is not to get distracted, decide if the car is right for you before you start talking about deals and finance.
Use the opportunity of looking at the car to confirm your research. Here are some things to look out for:
* Is the boot big enough for your needs?
* Is it easy to get in and out?
* Try to take a test drive that’s more than just a quick spin around the block. Take in different types of road to see how the car performs.
* Adjust the seat, mirrors, etc before you set off so you can concentrate on the driving experience without worrying about discomfort.
* If you’re looking at a used car check the condition carefully, look for scratches and chips on the bodywork and make sure that all of the equipment works.
* If you’re buying privately make sure you’re properly insured for the test drive and check that the seller’s name is on the V5 if not he may be a trader masquerading as a private seller.
Negotiating a Deal
Once you’ve found a car it’s time to negotiate. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you can’t get a reasonable deal, there are plenty of other cars on the market. If buying used research the prices of similar models and take copies of the adverts with you. If buying new find out what brokers and other dealers are offering. Make it clear to the salesman that you’ll buy only if the deal is right. When trading in your old vehicle check used car prices in advance so you have a good idea of what it’s worth.
Peter Bristol writes regularly on cars and motoring matters, he recommends visiting a site like Glass to value your part exchange and check the value of the car you’re buying.