Top tips when buying a new car

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  • With the brand new 66 plates now available, what better time to go over the basics of purchasing a new vehicle? Used car prices are now a lot higher than in the past due to scrapping schemes impacting on supply, so many are opting for an unused model instead. We’ve put together the essentials you should be looking out for when taking the plunge on a brand new car, whether for personal use or to upgrade your company fleet.

    Research, research, research!

    The power of the internet now means everyone can stride into a dealership with all the relevant knowledge. There really is no excuse to be taken for a ride anymore.  Sites like Auto Trader are a great place to start, and with reviews now widely available you can not only see the details of the car but the standard of the prospective dealership you’re going to make the purchase from.

    Compare prices

    While there’s obviously less price fluctuation for a brand new vehicle, it still pays dividends to shop around if you’re opting for a dealership instead of going direct to source. Try at least 4 dealerships to get an estimation of what you’ll likely be paying. In the end, shopping around can save you hundreds or even thousands so don’t settle early.

    Don’t impulse purchase

    We’re not saying ignore all your impulses when buying, it is an essential item you want to love after all, but a quick-fire, excited purchase is sure to leave you short-changed and maybe even regretting your choice. Make sure you test-drive, research and ask plenty of questions. A car is probably only second to a home in scale of investment, so take your time and weigh up your choice – it’s going to be with you for a long time.

    Factor insurance into the equation

    When budgeting, be sure to factor in insurance costs. The choice of vehicle has a fluid effect on what you’ll be paying for insurance costs. This sounds like a no-brainer, yet it can be a nasty shock when added up. Here’s a handy calculator for working out average insurance costs for a specific model.

    Beware of add-ons

    Purchasing a brand new car is going to be pricey enough as it is, so when luxury add-ons like built-in sat-navs and improved stereos start getting added to your package, things can soon spiral financially. What starts as a bargain can end in an expensive piece of business. If you have the budget for such amenities, by all means go for it. But if you’re getting carried away, take a step back and ponder if they’re really necessary.

    Explore and scrutinise your financing options

    Dealerships and suppliers often have pretty reasonable financing options that can take the burden off your pocket compared to a lump-sum purchase, so it’s definitely worth delving in to in some detail. On the flip side, some options can seem tempting and cost-effective, yet when scrutinised can be exposed as a poor deal. Do you really want to be paying off your car for over 10 years? Obviously there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, like a lot of the tips included, it comes down to asking the right questions and taking your time.

    Recently bought, or planning on buying a new-reg car? What are your tips for getting the best deal? Let us know on our Facebook page