Buying a car is one of the costliest decisions you have to make every few years. It is therefore very important to tread carefully when making the decision, or you may end up buying a car that does not represent value for money. We take a look at some tips that will guide you in the decision making process.
- Decide on what you expect the car to do for you
It shouldn’t take you much time to work out what your car should do for you and your family. If you carefully work out your expectations from your ideal car, it will be more difficult for sales men to confuse you and push you towards a cute small car when a big SUV is really what you need; or vice versa. When making this decision, consider:
- Parking space at home and at work
- Who will drive most of the time
- The kind of distances the car will do regularly
- Any additional expectations (e.g. Will you be selling items from the boot on weekends?)
With these considerations it will be easier to wrap your head around the thousands of makes and models available to you.
- What is the cost of running your new car?
Often people buy cars at supposed bargain prices, but,when the running costs are added, they work out as anything but a bargain. When considering running costs, you need to take a look at:
- Cost of insurance for the car
- The road tax band it falls into
- Its fuel economy status
- Cost of repairs and servicing- take a good look at the cost of parts
- Consider the safety ratings
Safety ratings are frequently ignored as something that should only bother families with kids; or because of a perception that all cars are pretty much as safe as each other. This is a faulty mentality. You don’t want to be risking your life by investing in a car with a poor Euro NCAP rating. You can confirm the ratings for the car model by visiting www.euroncap.com. This is also a good article on how the NCAP ratings work.
- Be extremely careful when buying used cars
Used cars are more risky to purchase than new cars. Therefore, it is important to be very analytical throughout the process. Here are some things you should do.
- Use car check to see if the car was stolen, written off, or has any finance obligations hanging over it. These services can help you see reasons why you should ignore the car, or negotiate for a price reduction.
- Check for a valid MOT, past MOTs, and a service history. This will tell you if the car has been maintained properly or not.
- Ask for a the V5 registration document to avoid buying a car from a fake seller.
- Watch out for the tell-tale signs of a crash. The typical signs are fresh paint, poor repairs, uneven wear on tyres etc.
- Check the small details on and features on the care to be sure they are working properly. This includes windscreen wipers, electric windows, car heaters, central locking, every door, and so on. .
By taking note of these tips, you will be more likely to buy a car that is good value, and has a good resale value when you come to trade in in the future.