Buying a new car
Friday 16 July 2010
Buying a new car gives you the peace of mind of being a car’s first owner, and the flexibility to choose the exact car you want.
Before you think about which car to buy, you’ll need to work out how much you have to spend.
• Work out how much your current car is worth, and whether you’ll sell it privately or part-exchange it with a dealer
• Decide on whether you need to take out finance
• Calculate your likely fuel, insurance and road tax costs
With more choice than ever, choosing your perfect car can be a confusing process. Make things easier by spending some time working out what you need from your car. Think about:
• What the car will be used for
• How many passengers will be regularly carried
• How much will it cost to fuel, tax, insure, service and repair
How Auto Trader can help: Choosing the right car
It’s unlikely you’ll be able to test drive the actual new car you’re buying, but you should be able to drive a similar version.
• Ask the dealer to arrange a drive in a car that’s as close as possible to the one you’re looking to buy; sometimes you may need to drive several cars to sample the bodystyle, engine and gearbox separately
• A test drive needn’t be five minutes ’round the block – ask to borrow a car for an evening or a weekend so you can get familiar with it, without the pressure of a salesperson in the passenger seat
• Make sure you can get comfortable behind the wheel, are satisfied with the way the car drives and you have sufficient visibility
• If you regularly carry passengers or luggage, load up the car to see how it copes
How Auto Trader can help: Test driving a car
Negotiating the best deal on a new car can save you thousands, or secure you some desirable equipment, so it’s worth pursuing.
• Know what your part-exchange is worth and haggle up the price, but remember dealers will pay ‘trade’ prices, which will be less than you’ll get by selling privately
• It can be easier to haggle at the end of the month when sales staff are close to their sales target, or before the March and September numberplate changes
• Ask for extra equipment, such as alloy wheels or air conditioning – even mats and mudflaps and a tank of fuel can be worth £150
• If you’re taking out finance, dealers may be more willing to offer discounts as they can offset the commission they’ll get from the finance lender against a discount or extra equipment
• Check if a new model is about to come out – dealers will be keen to shift older stock
• Stay calm – emotions can cloud the haggle meaning you could miss out on the best deal
How Auto Trader can help: Haggling with sellers
More in-depth buying advice: