Buying a new car is widely regarded as one of the most significant financial commitments you’ll make in your life, it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, far from it. A little research can make for an entirely painless purchase and could save you a lot of money, too.
Narrow down exactly what kind of car you should be looking for, starting with the most crucial factor, and that’s how much it costs, leaving you with the confidence you need to drive home the deal you deserve.
The first step in choosing your new ride should always be deciding how much you’re willing to splash out. This will save you time, in the long run, making it easy to rule out cars that merely or sensibly, don’t fit the financial bill.
While some of us are in the enviable position to buy a car outright for cash, there aren’t many that can. Even if you are, it’s worth remembering that ongoing costs such as insurance and routine maintenance need to be accounted for, too, and it’s worth having a contingency plan for emergency repairs.
If you’re likely to use any type of credit, be it a personal loan or credit-card payment, you’ll need to know exactly how much you can afford to repay each month.
Having established how much you want to spend, you’re in a great position to check the borrowing deals your bank or loan company can offer. Do your homework, sites like Personalloan.co can give you an insight as to how much your outlay is going to be.
Whoever lends you the money, be sure your monthly payments are affordable. Take into account those unpredictable ‘life events’ such as a job change through redundancy or illness, won’t leave you with an insurmountable monetary mountain to climb.
One tip is to calculate those monthly outgoings that can’t be avoided, such as food, utilities, rent or mortgage and any other living essentials, and compare it to your regular income. Once you’ve established how much this leaves for your car purchase, we advise reducing this figure by a third to provide a healthy margin for variable costs such as holidays and celebrations, as well as a contingency for unplanned events.
It also pays to be realistic about how long you’re planning to keep your car. If you intend to keep it for only a few years and then sell it on, it’s worth choosing a vehicle that’ll be worth as much as possible when you come to sell it. Some cars are far better at holding their value than others, and many variables can influence their ‘residuals’.
Thinking carefully about what you’ll use the car for should guide your selection. If you have a family, you should consult them as they may think of things you haven’t. If you have small children, for example, are your child seats compatible with the car and will you be able to fit in the front comfortably once they’re in place?
If you regularly carry bulky items such as golf clubs or musical instruments, will these fit in the trunk comfortably? Trunk space is a crucial factor in determining a car’s practicality. If you have an active lifestyle and regularly go on excursions – walking, surfing or mountain-biking, for instance – you may want a four-wheel-drive car to help you tackle poor road surfaces or access walking routes and beaches. If you’re a city driver, think about how easy the car is going to be to park.
Whichever car you choose and how you go about paying for it, it’s worth considering all of your options to ensure many years happy motoring!