In an ideal world, you’d be able to buy a car and keep it in exactly the same working condition for as long as you wanted to own it. Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t usually work like that. Mileage adds up, things get subjected to wear-and-tear, and before you know it, it’s time to consider purchasing a newer model.
While we’re now waiting longer between car purchases than we did in the past, we’re still buying a new car after around six to eight years of using our current vehicle. You’d think that would make the whole process a little bit easier, but that’s not always the case. There’s a lot to take into consideration when you’re buying a car, especially if you want to get the best value for money. So, before you rush into anything, make sure you give these tips a read and keep them in mind when you come to part with your cash…
1. What’s your budget?
There’s no arguing with the fact that going into a dealership with no idea of your financial restrictions is a terrible idea. It’s worth assessing your monthly incoming and outgoing expenses before your vehicle hunt really begins so that you can be certain of how much money you can reasonably afford to set aside. You might also want to decide whether you’ll be paying an upfront cost or purchasing your car on finance.
2. Have you done your research?
There’s a lot to research during your search for a car. Shop around as much as you can, visit price comparison sites, compare different makes and models… whatever it takes to prepare you for visiting your local dealership. If you’re buying online, it can be especially tempting to jump into an “amazing” deal, but always ask the relevant questions and be certain of legitimacy before making a final decision.
3. Will you need a loan?
It’s now easier than ever to take out a loan for purchasing a car. Your credit score will affect the rate you’ll be expected to pay your loan back, although this rate also varies from loan provider to loan provider. Worried you might not be accepted with your credit score? Take a look at the Top 8 Auto Lenders for Good & Bad Credit | Best Car Loans of 2019 to check out your options.
4. Have you checked your chosen vehicle’s repair records?
Once you’re pretty set on a certain vehicle, it’s time to do some digging into its past. A used vehicle most likely has some sort of repair record (and if not, why not?). It’s essential that you find out as much about your vehicle’s history as possible so that you can weigh up its pros and cons and decide whether it’s going to be appropriate for you long into the future. Check that your vehicle of choice has recently passed its MOT, or if it’s due another one soon, ask the seller to submit it for an early one so that you can be sure you’re spending your money wisely.