For most of us, purchasing a car is one of the most significant expenses we will ever make. Everything from car insurance to servicing can come with a hefty price tag that you might not have the funds to pay for. Then there are fuel costs to consider, and before you know it, your hard-earned cash won’t make it to your next paycheck.
With growing pressure to find time for yourself, work every hour under the sun and more, it’s about time you stop worrying about how much a new car will cost you.
Guess what? Buying a car doesn’t have to break the bank, and we’re here to tell you how:
Know your limits
Regardless of how you want to buy your vehicle – cash or finance – you should know your financial limits before making any decisions. The best way to do this is to weigh up your incomings vs outgoings in a simple budget breakdown. You should consider:
- How much you are spending on your rent/mortgage
- Travel expenses
- What you currently pay for fuel, insurance, road tax, maintenance etc
- Childcare fees
- Extras like days out or events
Then, you should lay out what you expect to spend on:
- Road tax – will your new car be exempt?
- Fuel – are you considering an electric vehicle? Hybrid? Traditional combustion engine?
- Servicing and maintenance fees – can these be covered by warranty or financing package?
Once you know how much you can spend at a used car or private sale vs the dealership, then you can start to think about what type of vehicle you’d like.
Low monthly payments for getting the car of your dreams sounds like a no brainer because it is! With a broad selection of everything from the top of the pack Tesla to your family-friendly Nissan SUV, financing opens up a whole range of options that cash alone won’t buy you.
Before setting foot in a dealership though, we would recommend doing some research first. Everything from the type of trim you prefer to model can make all the difference on your final financing options.
What’s more, having bad credit isn’t always a problem, as more and more lenders have cottoned on to the diverse range of circumstances their customers face. From being offered the best rates on a personal, affordable loan to hire purchase options, financing for most provides the best solution.
Your warranty often covers servicing, but make sure to check any Ts & Cs before signing on the dotted line.
Don’t be afraid to haggle
Have you noticed how many discounts and offers you are constantly bombarded with? Everything from the supermarket to your local clothes store, want your cash. A car salesperson is no different.
People don’t haggle or barter these days because they are afraid to ask in the first place. You’ll find that a secondhand seller will be keen to shift their vehicle as much as the next. Then there’s the dealership – they too have parameters that they can stretch if the right offer comes along!
Doing your research before entering any sale will give you all the power you need to haggle. That way, you are armed with all the up to date prices from a range of sellers, and you can’t be charmed into paying more.
Take it for a spin
Keeping any thoughts you have about haggling to mind, one of the best ways to give fuel to your haggling fire is to take the car out for a spin. You can quickly assess what works well with the vehicle, how well it handles on the road and if there are any noticeable engine issues and more.
Older cars may have more obvious signs of wear all around, but even newer vehicles may have some drawbacks that you won’t know about until you are sat behind the wheel. Be sure to:
- Get above 60mph if possible
- Listen out for any engine rumbles that shouldn’t be there
- How well does the car handle on bends?
- When safe, do an emergency stop. How quickly did the brakes respond?
- How do you feel behind the wheel? Comfortable or uneasy?
- How easy is it to get in and out of the car?
- Take a whiff – how does the interior smell?
If you are unhappy with anything, you can walk away from any potential sale. If there is something wrong now, even if you just have a bad gut feeling, this isn’t the one for you.
Used vs new
Undeniably, buying a used car will cost you less than buying a brand new one. It’s likely that if you are armed with enough disposable money, then you can get your hands on a fairly up to date model without the long commitment to a finance deal.
Someone else’s loss could very well be your gain.
The only snag is that a used car has been just that, used before. It comes with potential baggage and unfamiliar history. You can’t be 100% sure that it’s never faced an accident, been driven heavy-handed and the like, even with all the documents included. In short, there are a lot of unknowns that could cost you a lot of time and money at the garage.
Going down the used car route also limits your options. You are often governed by localised searches and what just happens to be available at the time.
Setting your eyes on a new car comes with no history whatsoever, as you will be the first owner. What’s more, newer vehicles are more kitted out with top-notch technology and safety features that set them apart. You are usually protected by a minimum three-year/up to 100,000 miles warranty too.
Whether you are in the market for style over substance or practical and economical, you won’t struggle to find a new vehicle to tick all your boxes.
Buying a car doesn’t have to break the bank! Where will your next set of wheels take you?