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Media post: Key Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Car

Buying a car can be exciting and daunting in equal measures. Whether buying outright or considering car finance, the market for quality new and used cars in the UK has never been bigger.

To simplify the process for new and experienced car buyers alike, here’s a quick rundown of a few important questions to ask yourself before purchasing a vehicle:

What type of car do you need?

First up, it’s worth thinking carefully about the kind of car you need. Bear in mind that there’s a difference between the vehicle you wantand the vehicle you actually need. Your heart might tell you a two-seat sportscar is the way to go – your brain (correctly) reminding you you’ve a sizeable family to accommodate.

What is your main priority?

Some prioritise performance, others are all about safety. For you, the most important thing could be comfort and fuel economy. By determining your main priority for the vehicle you intend to buy, you’ll find it much easier to narrow down the available options.

How much can you afford to spend?

Working out how much you can afford to spend means considering how much you can comfortablyspend, without it having an impact on your lifestyle.  Research suggests that the vast majority of UK motorists no longer purchase new or quality used cars outright, instead using various types of car financeto fund the purchase. Use an online car finance calculator to determine how much you can afford to spend.

How will you pay for the car?

If purchase of the car outright is either impossible or simply not the preferred option, there are various car finance optionsto choose from. Hire purchase agreements, personal contract purchase (PCP), personal loans and specialist car finance direct from the dealer. Getting the best possible deal means comparing the market in full, which can be made easier with the help of an independent broker. Compare as many deals from as many lenders as possible, ensuring you understand your repayment obligations before going ahead.

How strong is your credit rating?

If you’ve decided you want (or need) to buy a car on finance, you’ll need to consider your credit score. A poor credit history won’t necessarily count you out of the running, but you may need to be more strategic with the lenders you target. Again, working with an independent car finance broker can simplify the process and increase your likelihood of qualifying for a competitive deal.

Should you buy new or used?

Last but not least, this can be the ultimate question when looking to buy a car.  From an economic perspective, however, buying a used car is almost always the way to go. The average new car sheds an astonishing 60% of its value within the first three years. Some lose up to 40% of their value in the first year – often up to 25% the moment they leave the forecourt. So, unless you cannot bear the thought of driving anything other than a brand new car, opt for a used car and your wallet will thank you! –

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