Buying a car is an important financial decision. So, it is critical you go to the dealership armed with all the information you need to choose the right car for you. Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a new car.
- Set Your Budget
When it comes to investing in a new car, you want to get the best value for your money.
If you think a brand-new car is outside your budget, consider that while many used cars may cost less up front, you may end up paying for repairs. And, depending on the make and model year, fuel efficiency and emissions may also cost more.
The best way to budget for a new car is to look at your current financial situation. Most people need to take out a loan to finance a car purchase, so make sure your credit report is squeaky clean.
There are a few rules to follow when budgeting for a car. The total price of the vehicle should not exceed 20% of your take home pay. Plan to pay a down payment of 20% of the price of the car to keep the monthly repayments low. The maximum length of the loan should be 48 months to avoid paying excessive interest.
- Research the Car Dealers
Unfortunately, not all car dealerships are reputable or reliable and may charge you more than the car is worth. Research is a key to finding a good dealer. Check out reviews of the dealership online and compare their prices and offers with other dealerships in the area. Also, ask family and friends for recommendations.
- Choose Which Car Fulfils Your Needs
Are you an off-road enthusiast? Do you have a big family? Do you have a long commute to work? The reasons you use your car should influence your decision about which car to buy.
If you travel frequently, look for a car with a good fuel efficiency rating and comfortable ride and interior. For families, safety is your highest priority, so check the safety rating of the car. Remember to note other features you may need such as all-wheel drive, boot space, and passenger seating.
- Look Out for Other Variants of Car
If you have your heart set on a specific car it may mean that you miss out on other opportunities to find a more suitable vehicle. New cars are released frequently, so it is important to review other vehicles in the same class to see if another offers better features. There are several helpful vehicle comparison sites online.
- Check Safety Features & Brake Technology
Safety features save lives, so it is vital you examine the car’s safety and brake technology when comparing different models. Some safety features to look for include airbags, anti- lock brakes, traction control and/or electronic stability control, seat belts, tire pressure monitors, and rear-view cameras.
Familiarising yourself with different safety features can help you make an informed decision as not all cars offer the same level of safety. While many safety features are standard on brand-new car models, older models may be lacking certain features, or they may be out-dated.
- Check Resale Value of Chosen Car
A brand-new car loses approximately 20% of its value as soon as you drive off the lot, and up to 50% after five years. However, different cars depreciate at different rates. The vehicles that retain the most value are SUVs and pick-up trucks, while the cars that depreciate fastest are electric cars and luxury saloons.
Check the resale value of the car on several websites for free and research predictions on how much the car will depreciate over time. If you plan on trading or selling your new car in the future, the resale value can significantly impact your decision. In some cases, it may be better for you financially to buy a used car with good resale value.
- Look at Engine Variants like Petrol, Diesel or Alternative Fuels
The type of engine significantly impacts fuel efficiency, emissions, and performance. If you do a lot of town driving, an electric or alternative fuel engine could save you money long-term, while diesel engines are best suited to drivers who travel long distances.
If you are unsure which engine is best for you, talk with an automotive professional or a driving instructor who does driving lessons in Hayes and who understands how different engines handle and the pros and cons of each.
- Set-up a Test Drive
The best way to know more about a car is to take it for a test drive. Book multiple test drives on the same day so you can comparison shop, and don’t forget to bring along photocopies of your license. Also, take along a checklist of features and things to look for on your test drive.
- Compare Car Insurance Policies
Different insurance companies cater to different drivers and cars, to ensure that you get the best coverage possible, compare car insurance policies. You have the option of getting a new policy or transferring your existing policy; however you incur additional administration costs or increases in premiums depending on the car’s risk factor.
- Check Legal Paperwork & Spares Checklist
Before finalising any car purchase always makes sure you have the proper documentation. These include a logbook, manual, service booklet, sales contract, and finance package. Make sure you get a copy of the spares checklist and go through each item to make sure it is with the car.
Last but not least… check for offers
The current automotive industry is a buyer’s market with companies producing more cars than they can sell. This means there are always offers on vehicles to give dealers a competitive edge. Take advantage of these offers and work on your bargaining skills to find the best price possible.