Buying a car can be a daunting feat, especially if you don’t know much about cars- and you’re really only interested in style over substance but going in armed with a bit of knowledge can help you not only find the right car, but also negotiate the right price!
But what are the things you should be considering before buying your next car?
New or second-hand
Firstly, decide whether you want to buy new or second-hand, each has its own pros and cons.
The main advantages of a new car are that you get to choose the exact specification, you benefit from the full warranty package and there’ll be no unknown history to worry about. However, newer cars tend to be more expensive compared with second-hand ones.
Second-hand cars equally have their advantages, predominantly that they are often cheaper than their new counterparts. If you purchase your second hand car from a dealership, you’ll still might be covered by various warranties. The biggest downside of buying a used car is the uncertainty surrounding the car’s history.
Consider your lifestyle
When buying a car, it’s important you consider what you will be using it predominantly for. If you drive long distances on the motorway, perhaps consider a larger crossover type car, or if it’s a car you need to run around in, a smaller car like a Citroen C3 would work well.
If you have young children a 5 door car is more suitable than a 3, similarly, if it’s just you and one other, 3 door versions are often cheaper than their 5 door counterparts.
Time of year
If you’re buying a car from a dealership regardless of whether it’s new or second hand, there are certain times of year you should avoid buying a car, and other times when you could bag yourself a bargain.
The main times to bear in mind are at the end of each quarter, especially June and December- when dealers are keen to hit their quarterly targets and slower times of year like February and August are also perfect if you’re looking to save some money as buyers wait for the new March and September number plates.
In a world where style over substance often wins out- your car should not fall victim to #instagoals over road safety. The NCAP safety rating tests every make and model under vigorous conditions and comes up with a rating from one to five -five being the safest vehicle and one being the least.
Checking the NCAP rating of your preferred car may just persuade you that perhaps that boxy number your parents want you to buy is better than the flashy sporty one you’re after!
Whichever car you decide to buy make sure you feel confident in your purchase and that you don’t feel pressured in to buying it- and if in doubt take along a friend or relative who knows what they’re talking about, or at least pretends they do!