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8th July 2020

A guide to buying your next car

Purchasing your next car, whether new or old, is an exciting time for every driver. Amidst all the excitement, finding the right car that will meet your specific requirements and remain reliable can be a challenge.

With so many makes and models out there, it can be tricky to navigate, not to mention considerations such as the number of owners, service history, mileage and condition of the car, particularly if you aren’t sure what specifically to look out for.

You don’t have to be a car expert to be able to identify the ideal vehicle for you. Take a look at our top tips below for buying your next car.

A guide to buying a new car

Get the right finance in place

Knowing realistically what you can afford when it comes to purchasing your new car should be your very first port of call. Whether you will be utilising savings, seeking finance, or a little bit of both, knowing your budget from the outset will help you to narrow down your search considerably.

Know the car market

Think about the type of driving you’ll be doing in your new car. Will you mainly be driving around towns and cities, or will you be venturing further on motorways? What features do you want the car to have (e.g. built-in navigation, cruise control, parking sensors, etc.)? In addition to this, do your homework on various car brands, their track record in reliability, common issues with certain models and fuel efficiency.

Check over the car thoroughly

Whilst you may be lucky enough to have a friend or family that is handy with cars, there are still checks you can carry out on a potential car even if your knowledge of car mechanics isn’t amazing. First and foremost, it is best to look at a car during the day and in good weather. These are the best conditions to check all panels. In addition to this you should be checking the air conditioning works properly, the electric windows work as they should, whether there is a spare wheel, handbook, spare keys and, if the car has alloy wheels and that you have the locking wheel nuts.

Go for a test drive

Test driving a car can reveal a number of things, both good and bad. There are a number of things you will want to look out for, for example; does it handle and perform in the way you would expect? Are there any worrying sounds coming from the car as you drive it? You will want to ensure the car drives as you need it to prior to purchase.

Whilst this list is not exhaustive, it should give you a good idea of your approach when shopping around for a new car. For more information on all things motoring, take a look at our Hints and Tips page.