When it’s time to trade up your old banger for a family estate, you need to know what you’re looking for.
Unless you’re a car enthusiast buying a new car can be a challenging experience. How do you know which model is right for you, how do you find something that fits your budget and are all those optional extras really necessary?
There are lots of questions, but thankfully lots of answers too. With a little know-how you can turn car buying into a breeze and have your family on the road in no time.
The Bottom Line
Before embarking on your car-buying quest, it’s worth setting down your very top limit and what exactly you want to see included in that price tag. Whether you’re looking for a little more boot space, a heated seats or cruise control, write it all down to prepare you for the big search.
You’ll also need to take into account how you plan on your using your new car, will it be for the daily commute, family holidays or shuttling children to and from school. All this information will help with budget setting, taking into account fuel efficiency, comfort and so on.
Once you’ve established your bottom line, it’s time to get searching.
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Private versus dealership
Both offer distinctively different advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at private sellers. In general, the biggest plus point of buying privately is the cost. There are no hidden extras, so surcharges or taxes, what you see is what you get. Which brings us to the cons of buying privately, a car bought from a private seller does not come with guarantees and you only have their word that the car is working well and hasn’t been involved in any accidents.
If you can, it’s worth your while taking a mechanic or at least someone with a working knowledge of cars to give it the once over and check the vital parts out.
With a dealership, the biggest bugbear is going to the cost. It’s very rare that you’ll be able to pick a car and pay the price on the windscreen. There are often hidden costs and sales staff desperately hoping to persuade you to pay a little more for the extras. Sometimes that’s fine. If you were looking for a sunroof or a scheme like Mercedes-Benz Accident Management then you’ll be happy to pay slightly more.
The benefit is the warranty and the fact that you stand a far greater chance of buying a car that’s been thoroughly checked over and hasn’t been involved in shunts. The price might also include insurance and access to a service for the first 12 months.
Once you’ve done your research online, asked a few friends for their advice and looked at what the latest lifestyle blogger is driving, you’ll be all set to buckle up and drive away from the forecourt knowing you bagged yourself a bargain and are all ready for the open road.