Searching for a new car can be confusing, especially if you haven’t decided what you want. With all the “good deals” and “special rates” that are flying around, it’s hard to know what you should be looking for and will you even know if you find it? While we can’t tell you what to get, we can give you a few tips on what you should look out for when searching for your new car.
Newer is not always better
Have you considered buying a second-hand car rather than buying a new one? Everyone loves that new car small and all the gadgets that come with it, but if you’re wanting to get a good car without breaking the bank, second-hand could be the way to go. Depending on what you’re looking for, a used car is invariably cheaper, and you’ll be paying lower insurance premiums.
It is more than just a test drive
If you are looking second-hand, a test drive should not just be about jumping in the driver’s seat and speeding off to see if you like the way the it drives. You need to be methodical and check every single aspect of the car. Turn it on and let it sit like this whilst you check out the car. Listen to the noise the engine makes and check that all the lights and indicators work. Only once you have checked everything stationary, you should take it for a test drive and again check everything from the gears to the brakes and how it handles speed and inclines. When it comes to second-hand you need to be methodical and make sure that it works the way it’s supposed to.
Make a list of your essential requirements
When you’re searching, you need to have a very clear idea of what you need that car to be for you. There’s no point in buying a two-seat sports car if you need a car to travel with the family. You can start by asking yourself some of the following questions:
1. What do I need it for?
2. Is this car just for my short daily commute or am I going to use it for longer journeys?
3. Do I want a petrol or diesel car?
4. Does it need to be spacious? Do I need to be able to transport lots of things?
5. Is an electric or eco-friendly car an option?
Once you have an idea of what you need, you’ll be able to refine your search.
Understand the costs
Another checklist that you should consider making is a checklist which looks at the cost of a car, over-and-above the upfront cost. If you’ve taken out a personal loan to pay for the car, you’ll need to factor this in. You then need to think about all your ongoing costs, such as: petrol, insurance, services, the cost of parking and tolls and any other unforeseen costs, which can come up at any time. Once you have created this spreadsheet, factoring in any of the cars that you are interested in purchasing, you’ll be able to see what you can afford to own.
Insure before you drive
You need to make sure that you have insurance before you drive your new car out of the dealership. Once you are the legal owner you should have it insured, even before you’ve picked it up. If anything happens to it once you’ve bought it, it’s your responsibility. Imagine you’re carefully driving home from the dealership and you get to a stop street and someone bashes into the back of you. Rather make sure your car is covered from the start.