If you are lucky enough to be in the position to buy a new car then you probably realize what a stressful (but fun) experience this can be. You may have an idea what car you are looking for or you may need to search out something to meet you requirements; either way there are many points to consider.
For those of you who don’t have a dream car in mind, it is a good idea to make a list of requirements that your new car should meet to help you narrow down you search from the massive variety of cars on offer in today’s market.
Things to consider are; practicality, fuel type, size, reliability, insurance group, tax costs, colour, etc. If you plan to run up a high mileage or want to drive frugally then a diesel engine is most likely the answer. If you have children and this will be the main family car, then a 3 door Corsa may not be the best choice. Make a check list of your specific requirements and check each car against this to help you narrow down your search.
With the continually rising cost of insurance and fuel, it is particularly important to do your research when it comes to insurance groups and fuel economy. Websites such as Parkers.co.uk (a car review site) can usually give you this information, along with what vehicle tax band the engine variant will fall under.
Using a car review website will also help you to examine your prospective purchase a little further in terms of reliability and common faults; also giving you an idea of which engine to choose if you want either performance or economy.
When you have made your choice of vehicle or narrowed it down to a few contenders, it’s time to consider how you will pay for your purchase. If you haven’t got the full amount in cash you can usually either look into taking out an unsecured personal loan or arrange finance with the seller if you are buying from a dealership. Be aware that dealer finance is often secured to the car in the form of a hire purchase agreement; they may promise you higher acceptance rates but you could find yourself paying a higher level of interest for this privilege.
It is best to shop around when looking for a new car; look online at popular sites such as Autotrader.co.uk, visit a few main dealerships for the vehicle marques you are looking to purchase and visit a few private traders to get a good spread. Don’t be afraid to play one seller off against another to get extra discount; there’s always room for negotiation, especially if you’re paying cash (a 10% discount is more than reasonable).
Once you have found the perfect car and placed a deposit on it, you will need to start thinking about your car insurance if you have not already done so (it is advisable to run a few quotes on a prospective car before committing to a purchase to make sure there are no nasty surprises). If you are mid-term with your current insurer you will need to notify them of the changes ASAP and may have to pay an admin fee to amend the policy. If you need a new insurance policy it is best practice to get quotes from at least 4-5 providers to get the best price/best fit policy; make use of a price comparison site such as the ever popular Confused.com or Moneysupermarket.com to reduce the legwork for you.
If you are selling your old car privately and will need to use it after taking ownership of your new car, you can look to use short term motor insurance which will usually allow you to pay for a cover on a daily basis or for a predetermined number of months. This type of cover can also be useful if you want to pick up the new car in a hurry before finalising the next years car insurance; your car dealer may be able to arrange this for you.
On the day you pick your new car up, make sure nothing is missing such as locking wheel nuts, user manual/logbook, etc. Before handing over the final payment, look over the vehicle again to make sure everything is in order and ask any final questions you may have. Lastly; enjoy your new car!