How To Buy A New Car


You may be buying your first ever car, or you might just have a very tired workhorse that needs to be put out to pasture. Either way, you’ve decided on buying new, but you’re not sure where to start. Below are a few important steps along the journey to driving your new purchase off the forecourt.

Read and watch reviews

Your first step is to do some research. Hopefully, you’ve already decided what kind of car will best suit your needs. If not, do that first. Key factors to consider are how many seats you need, how many miles per week/year you will be covering, how economical you want or need it to be, how important reliability is to you, how important driveability is to you, and how much you can afford to spend. After you have decided on these things, you should find reviews of cars that fit the criteria you are searching for. If you are looking for a family runaround, look up reviews for family cars, if you need an executive saloon then look for reviews of that particular segment and so on. Look for reviews from multiple different sources, as some can be quite biased either for or against certain manufacturers.


Corporate or private dealerships

Once you’ve settled on which model you’re going to invest your hard-earned into, it’s time to choose where you’re going to get it from. Your basic choices for new cars boil down to corporate-owned chain dealerships and privately owned registered dealers. Both have their pros and cons. Big chains mean that if you should need to take your new car in for any issues that may crop up during the warranty period, then even if you’re travelling and not close to the dealership you originally bought it from, you can still get a good service. However, big dealerships might not be as welcoming with the after-sales care due to the high influx of business they may receive. Private dealerships like tend to be family owned and focus heavily on the customer experience. They usually try extra hard to stand up against the competition that a bigger company might present. Whichever choice you make, be sure to get a comprehensive warranty and check to see if there are any mileage or component restrictions.


Buy with cash or lease

You may have been saving hard for a few years to afford a new car, and you may be considering buying the car outright to avoid having any debt or added bills hanging over your head, which is fine if that is how you like to work. However, the days of ‘cash is king’ are slowly receding, and you may actually be in a better financial position if you were to pay for the car in monthly instalments or take out a hire purchase contract. Not only can there sometimes be deals for these types of purchases that can result in savings of thousands off the list price, but they can even include routine servicing and insurance. Many dealerships offer 0% finance, and so you can keep your lump sum locked away for a rainy day and use it to pay off the car finance over the coming years.


Test drive

The final, and most important, step to driving away with your new car, is to make sure you like it. You may not be a keen driver or at all interested in handling or performance. But you still want to be able to find a comfortable driving position at the very least. There’s no point buying a light, economical, supermini if you’re 6 foot 4 and weigh 250 lbs; it’ll just be too small for you. Take your chosen car for a test drive on the kind of roads you will be regularly using. If you do a lot of long-distance driving, is it comfortable and quiet at highway speeds or does it drone and get buffeted by passing trucks? How does the steering feel? Are the controls positioned in a way that you can work with? You are going to have to live with this car for a number of years, so make sure it is definitely something you can live with. If after the test drive you feel like it’s not quite the right fit for you, then walk away. Go back to the drawing board and do some more research. Be patient.

Follow these steps, and before you know it, you’ll be driving round in the perfect car for you, secure in the knowledge that you chose wisely and will be happy for many years to come.

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