Cars – do you ever wonder where we’d be without them? For errands, business or days out with the family, we ask a lot from them and our set of wheels don’t let us down. Well. Not always. It probably goes a long way to explaining why government statistics show that more than 75% of UK households have at least one car parked outside. But what if it’s time to buy or upgrade to a new model?
I find the choice can be overwhelming sometimes. There is sooo much choice out there! Do I want a petrol or diesel engine – or even electric? Is an estate the right choice for me or maybe a hatchback or MPV? And how could my choice of colour affect its value if I came to sell it on? When it comes to buying a car, it’s easy to be smart about it. And, that way, you’ll know you’ve made the right choice.
Know… when to buy your next car
Not that I want to make it complicated, but there can be an art to choosing when you buy your next car. For a start, dealerships tend to be quieter on weekdays as everyone’s at work. Thinking about a convertible? You can find great deals in winter when the weather isn’t quite right for having the top down. And if a dealer has sales targets to hit at the end of a quarter, there are bargains to be found.
Know… your type of car you need
Sadly, your dream car isn’t always the one that’s the most practical. Sure, who wouldn’t want to buy a Jag or an Aston Martin? But your car must do what you need it to do. A small hatchback is amazing for urban driving to and from work. But it isn’t much good if you’ve got the whole family and the dog to squeeze in. If you live out in the countryside, something more rugged like a 4×4 could be the one.
Know… your buying power
Getting to the showroom, choosing your perfect set of wheels and then realising you’ve no idea how you’re going to pay for it can be really embarrassing. It can also put you in a financial situation that is completely wrong for you. Before committing to anything, set your budget and know the money is in place – whether it’s cash savings or approved car finance from providers such as Go Car Credit.
Know… the car’s history
I don’t like nasty surprises and I bet you don’t either. That’s why I always like to know what’s what if I’m buying something big like a car. When you’re getting your next set of wheels, check the logbook and its service history to check for any warning signs. Although the logbook won’t always allow you to see everything you need to know. For example, you might not be able to see if the car was written off previously due to an accident. This is because most car accidents aren’t often reported unless a claim is made with the help of law firms similar to Clearwater car accident attorneys. However, getting the logbook is still a good idea for checking the history of the car. For extra peace of mind if you don’t know your carburettor from your coolant, you might want to invest in a pre-purchase inspection.
Know… your running costs
For anyone who looks after the household budget, you’ll know running a car isn’t cheap. More than a third of UK drivers say the cost of fuel is a “concern”, says the RAC. There’s insurance, parking and tax too. So, when you’re buying a car, why not do a bit of digging to find out things like its insurance group and fuel economy. It could save you some hard-earned pennies in the long-run.