Buying a new or used car is one of the most expensive purchase we will ever make in our lifetime (after buying a house). It’s important to have your wits about you when going through this process to ensure you don’t end up being ripped off!
The first step in this process is to identify what type of car you need/want? Will it be new or used? Will it be petrol or diesel? If you are swaying towards a new car just remember it’s rate of depreciation is much faster than a used car. If you are thinking a used car is for you, just remember it will come with a history but will be the cheaper option.
What type of car do you need? Well, here you need to think about your needs and what you will be using the car for. Do you have a large family? Will you be driving long distances? Etc. Once you know what you need from the car you can identify the best model to fit these needs.
Create yourself a budget and ask yourself what can I afford? Map out all of the costs such as insurance, tax, fuel and MOT’s. Make sure to leave a little extra in your budget for unexpected costs. Now you can match your budget with a particular car and you know what you can and cannot buy.
Before you go to buy, do your research. If you are opting for a used car it is really important to run a car history check on it’s registration plate. You can use Cazana.com to do this. Their car checks will give you a timeline of information on that car, such as it’s legal status, mileage, MOT history and all previous sale adverts (so, you know how much it was on sale for last time).
Check prices from as many dealers in your local area as possible so you are armed with bargaining chips when you go to buy the car.
Always haggle! You’ve already worked out how much you can afford, now it’s time to negotiate to try and get a better price. When it comes to negotiating always start lower than you can afford, be firm but friendly with the dealer. If there is an awkward silence don’t fill it, wait for them to speak first. If they are being unreasonable and won’t negotiate remember you can always walk away.
Buying from a private seller can make the negotiating process easier as they may want to make a sale much quicker. Especially if they themselves have just bought a new car they will be keen to sell their old one which puts you in a better position to bargain.
Don’t forget to take it for a test drive it.