Getting a car can be one of the biggest purchases you make so it’s important that you get it right. If you’ve never owned a car before or are stuck on what to get next, the guide below has been designed with you in mind. There can be as number of factors to consider before getting your next car. Your car should suit all your needs and it’s important that you know you can afford it. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how to find the right car for you.
1. Assess your needs
Getting a car that suits your needs is really important. For many people, practicality takes a back seat when they have their heart set on a stylish new car. Or, you may already know which car is right for you, for example, 7 seater cars can be great for large families or wheelchair users. If you cover many miles each day, you may need a car that has the best fuel economy or is comfortable for long journeys. Whatever your needs are, it’s important that you get a car that will suit your lifestyle.
2. Set a budget
Once you know which type of car you are looking for, it’s time to set your budget. No matter how you decide to pay for your next car, a budget is always a good place to start. If you’re trying to save money for a car, you should take into account what your current finances are like and see how much you could put aside. Take a look at your current incomings and outgoings and work how much you could put towards your savings or for a car on finance. Your budget should always be realistic and affordable, especially if you’re taking out a finance deal. It important that you can comfortably afford the payments and never make late payments.
3. Explore buying options
When it comes to getting a car, cash is king. Cash can be the most straightforward way to get a car but both new and used cars can cost thousands of pounds and for many people it can take a while to save up. Alternatively, you could consider getting a new or used car on finance. In the UK, the three main types of car finance are a personal loan option, hire purchase or personal contract purchase. It’s worth looking into each agreement before you commit to one as you may be more suited to some more than others.
4. Compare running costs
Do you have your heart set on a specific car? Many people do but you may find down the road it costs you way more than you expected. Before you commit to getting a car, it’s worth comparing different makes and models and checking how much they cost to run. You should consider things such as car insurance cost, miles per gallon and how much it costs to refuel, road tax, depreciation rate and also servicing and maintenance.
5. Shop around
Once you’ve found a few cars you like or the perfect car, it’s time to shop around! If you’re buying with cash or a personal loan, you have the freedom to get the car from anywhere. You can choose to buy from a private seller or at a car dealership. You may get a better deal from a private seller as its easier to negotiate but you also don’t get the same level of added protection that you would with a dealership. When you get a car on finance, you usually can’t buy from a private seller and would need to get a car from a dealership that is verified by the Financial Conduct Authority.
6. Take a test drive
Before you purchase any car, it’s always recommended that you take a test drive. Feel free to test drive as many cars as you like to help see which is right for you. You may love the look of a car but end up hating how it drives! When you get in the driving seat, you should see how the car feels and drive it on different types of terrain such as city streets and the motorway. You should take a good look at all parts of the car and make sure there isn’t any damage, and the car is in decent condition. If anything doesn’t look right, you should let the seller know straight away.