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Media post: 7 Things you need to Know When Buying a New Car

Buying a new car is no small expense. Second, to a house, it will likely be the biggest purchase of your life! While rocking up to the dealership may sound like a good idea on the surface, going in unprepared will not help you get the best deal. It may even mean you miss out on the best car for you.

To help you make the best decision, we’ve compiled 7 things you need to know when buying a new car, from budgeting to purchase.

1.   Know your budget

While it’s tempting to blow all your savings at the dealership on your dream wagon, practically, that isn’t a good way of buying a new car. Not only do you need to keep on top of your daily financial needs, but you need to be able to afford the maintenance and running costs of your vehicle!

Instead, look at all your current spending habits and determine how much is left to play with at the end of the month. Draw up your budget and include:

 – Rent or mortgage payments

– Utility bills

– Mobile phone bill

– Average monthly food spend

– Entertainment

– Any other significant spends

Then, think about how much you currently spend on:

– Insurance and tax

– Fuel or electricity to charge

– Maintenance and servicing

– Other car-related financial obligations, such as car finance

Work out the top limit once you have your budget and stick to it!

2.   Car finance makes purchasing more affordable

Did you know that between 86% to 91% of new vehicles are purchased via car finance? It is the most affordable option for most UK drivers as the lender will take the initial financial hit for you before you make your low monthly repayments.

What’s more, you’re not limited by traditional bank loans anymore. Instead, the world of car finance makes buying more accessible due to the many different loans available. From Hire Purchase and Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) to a lease, car loans are as flexible as you need them to be.

While it’s true most lenders will only accept your application if you have a good credit history, there are specialist lenders out there who are there to support customers with poor credit get behind the wheel.

Bad credit car finance is designed to help you get accepted for a car loan regardless of your financial past. IVAs, CCJs, bankruptcy, defaults, you name it; they will look at your circumstances and find a deal that works best for you. Even self-employed customers can get the help they need.

3.   Research, research, research

The key to a successful vehicle purchase is to do your research. We don’t just mean checking out what cars at your local dealership. We mean getting down to the nitty-gritty! But don’t let that stress you out. It’s not as complicated as it sounds.

Start by comparing car finance deals to get a feel for how much you could borrow and if you can afford the monthly repayments.

After, it’s all about cars!

– Seen a car you like? Compare different or similar models, variants and trims

– Check out what engine sizes are available

– What type of fuel will you need? What is the fuel economy?

– Compare tax and insurance prices

– Make sure you read a collection of customer and expert reviews

Once you’ve collated and compared deals and general information, you’re ready to get down to the dealership.

4.   Grants are available if you are considering an electric car

There is a global climate crisis that we simply can’t escape. In response, the UK government has drawn out plans for net-zero emissions by 2050. But, to get to that point, there is an imminent 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles before we get to that time!

To encourage as many drivers to make the switch to electric, there are a series of grants available to buffer upfront costs. The most notable of these is the Plug-in Grant. This is available on a large selection of electric vehicles (EVs) on the government’s website ranging from the Fiat 500e to Volkswagen ID.3 Pure Performance.

The biggest perk here, of course, is that you can use the Plug-in Grant (up to £1,500 for cars) alongside a car finance package. Note that electric cars are ULEZ exempt if you plan on driving through London.

5.   Book an appointment at the dealership

Gone are the days when you could casually rock up to the dealership. Instead, booking is recommended. That way, you know who you’re seeing and if you’ve got your eye on a particular vehicle if it’s available at the dealership.

Arrive with your research, so you know your stuff and how much you will be expected to pay for the type of car you want. Bring along your driving license, passport or other ID, and information about your current vehicle if you plan to trade it in.

6.   You’re allowed to ask questions!

One of your greatest weapons at the dealership is you asking questions. So fire away!

Armed with your research, you know already what you should be expected to pay. You’ve also pre-researched what different types of car finance are available to you and hopefully compared prices.

Dealers aren’t there to catch you out. They should know the ins and outs of the vehicles you’re interested in and should be able to identify the best motor for you based on the information you’re telling them.

Equally, they should supply any relevant documentation for the car in question (new or second hand). Check out everything from previous owners to service history and MOT.

7.   Test drives are a must

Before you make any decisions, book a test drive. You will instantly know if you feel comfortable behind the wheel.

Make sure you drive a variety of roads. Check everything from the brakes to listening out for odd rattles from the engine.

If at any point you know this isn’t the car for you or the dealership is hesitant, walk away.

Happy with the car? Check out all the terms and conditions of your purchase, ask about any additional extras such as servicing and go for it!

There’s nothing quite like driving away in a new motor. So make sure you ask all the right questions, do a spot of research first and stick to your budget to ensure you get the most out of your new car!

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