Five things to consider when buying a new car

The car you choose to drive holds many purposes, so getting the right one is crucial. In our handy guide below, we’ve outlined five things you must consider before choosing your new wheels.

1. Your budget

You’ll need to think firstly about your budget, as this will help you to identify the specific make and model you could be looking for. If you’re planning on using your current car as a part-exchange, you might have some scope to increase your budget slightly.

Sometimes, you can get more money by selling your car second hand, but this could be a more time-consuming process than giving it to a dealer as part-exchange. Or, if you’re looking for long-term value, you might prefer to get the most out of your money with an electric car. Once you’ve identified how much you can realistically spend, you’ll be able to start browsing.

2. Practicality

What do you need from your car? Have a good think about what exactly you’ll be using the car for, whether that’s on long daily commutes or much shorter trips. If you just need to get around town, it’s worth remembering that petrol is more efficient over shorter journeys. However, if you think your mileage will be high, a diesel vehicle could be much more suitable.

3. Purchasing options

There are many purchasing options to consider that might suit you. You could buy the car outright: this is the cheapest option overall, but not realistic for more expensive cars. Or, you could take out a personal car loan to purchase the car and pay back in monthly instalments. However, always make sure you have the means to pay back the loan before choosing this option.

4. New or used?

Choosing a new car will offer the most reliability, with zero miles on the clock almost guaranteed. However, this comes at an increased price, with most cars losing up to half of their value in the first three years of ownership.

Alternatively, you could choose a slightly older, used car to avoid high costs of new cars. Just make sure to choose lower mileage and check for a full service history, to confirm whether or not the car will bring high maintenance costs incurred by longstanding mechanical faults.

5. Running costs

Buying a cheaper car doesn’t always mean you’ll be saving money in the long run, since some cars are significantly more expensive to run than others. We recommend looking into the miles per gallon (MPG) rating of each car, a good pointer of how far your fuel will get you.

More often than not, bigger cars will have a lower MPG than a smaller run-around car. Don’t forget to look into insurance and road tax costs for the vehicle to make sure it’ll be good value across all areas.

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