So you have decided to purchase a new car? It’s a big decision, second to buying a house and not one to be taken lightly – and with thousands of makes and models currently on the market buying a car today could end up being a daunting task. So whether its a second hand vehicle you’re after or brand new, straight out of the showroom model that takes your fancy take a moment to digest the following advice below which should help you come to a sensible and realistic purchase.
Make a check list of all the features you both want and need from your new car.
Do you need 2 or 4 doors, a point to remember if you regularly carry passengers?
Would you like a hatchback – perhaps for dogs or large loads or will a small boot suffice?
Will you need extra seats to accommodate a growing family or is a small economical car your preferred choice ?
What is your main driving route? Short errands only or will you be commuting regularly?
Are you after a basic model or are you a tech geek and need all the latest gadgets?
Knowing what practical features you want will help you to narrow down your list to a more manageable few final choices.
Stick to your budget
Now you have your short list its time to set your budget and stick to it. It is all too easy to spend more than you can realistically afford when you get ‘wowed’ by that dream car but try to remain focused, especially if you are taking out a finance plan as you must ensure you can afford the monthly instalments in the long term.
Keep in mind the cost of insurance
Its also a good idea to do a little research and make a list of the insurance groups of the cars on your shortlist and compare them to what you pay now. What seems like a bargain could suddenly become a very expensive purchase if the insurance premium suddenly doubles or triples what you are paying at the moment.
View the vehicle in the daylight
When you go to view your vehicles make sure you go in the daylight, this may seem obvious but so many faults can be missed when viewing in a poorly lit area. Its also best to take someone to the viewing with you, especially good if you know a mechanic or at least someone who has a good working knowledge of cars. Remember that car salesmen are there to sell, not to provide sound knowledge and if it’s a private sale you will have less (if any) comeback if anything is wrong with the vehicle which has been ‘sold as seen’.
Finally do your research. The internet is a fabulous tool for getting the low down on every make and model available. Check the miles per gallon, check how it drives and how people rate the handling, check the comfort and how environmentally friendly it is. You will find peoples personal experiences on the reliability of a car will help a great deal in your final decision.