Purchasing a new car is a significant expense and should be treated with care and not done on a whim. There are more car makes and types available than you can name so finding the right car for you can take some time and thought, to ensure you are happy with the car now and in the foreseeable future.
Type of Car
One of the most crucial aspects when buying a vehicle is determining what kind of car will fit your needs best. For young drivers who have recently passed their test, this may mean just buying a reasonably priced economical vehicle which will be cheap to insure and light on fuel use. For a family, this can be a trickier decision as you will want a car that can carry the entire family in comfort, but you may also need it as a city runabout which will limit the available options. When choosing the type of car, you will also need to decide on whether you need a diesel engine, petrol or hybrid/electric. Deciding on the fuel sort is critical as many buyers who bought diesel when governments advocated it, are now being stung with higher yearly tax bills on the car.
Safety is a serious selling point with motor vehicles, with Volvo, a notable example, being synonymous with safety for decades. There are many safety features worth considering before making a decision. There are general safety tests that any car looking to drive on public roads must pass, but there can still be a massive gap in safety standards from car to car. Making sure your car has anti-lock brakes, traction control and airbags will give you the basic level of safety when in the car. New vehicles hitting the market have accident avoidance systems and electronic stability for even safer motoring.
Many car buyers fail to investigate how much their car will cost to maintain on a yearly basis, and this could be due in part to the quality of cars being built. Modern cars tend to need a lot less attention than they did a decade ago, so repair costs, parts, and labor are often overlooked. When looking to buy a nearly new car, extra attention should be given to the service history to ensure that competent mechanics have done all scheduled maintenance. Major work like changing the timing belt can get expensive so needs to be factored into the purchase price.
Car dealers often have incentives and promotions running to entice new buyers onto the forecourt. Buying a car that is on promotion may save you thousands on the initial purchase price, but you may find when it comes time to sell that saving is now evaporated. Cars which were initially sold with substantial discounts tend to re-sell for a lesser value, so it is not always a considerable saving. Different models are popular at different times so keeping track of reselling values before your purchase is a wise choice.
Finance or All Up Front
A new car can cost more than the price of a small home, and the decision to finance or pay cash up front can be hard. For those looking at a new car purchase, there may be no option but to finance, this can be good if you have a clear understanding of your finances in the future and know you can afford all the repayments. For those looking to buy a reasonably priced second-hand car paying outright is the best choice if you have the money. Buying outright will allow you to get cheaper insurance that won’t cover the cost of your car and will also stop you entering into a five-year agreement for a car that may not be worth it by the time you have cleared the finance. Leasing to buy is also a popular alternative where you can lease a car and after the set lease period you can pay the balance to own the car or return it and look for another.
For those who are not so confident buying a car alone, there are motoring organizations (check your local one) which will come out and inspect the car you want giving you a full report on the condition and value of the vehicle. Using a registered car dealer will lessen the risk you take when purchasing a car and will have advice on how best to structure a deal, you may also get servicing and maintenance covered for the first few years.
Using the suggestions above of what areas you need to focus on when buying a car you can go out with confidence that you understand what car you need, what the ongoing costs will be and how it will affect your finances.