Buying a car can seem like entering a mine-field; plenty of people are offering their advice and anecdotes. The fact is that buying a car becomes a lot more simple if you follow these steps – remember that you are in control of the sale, whether you’re buying privately or from a dealer.
- Do your research
Before you go and look at cars you need to decide what kind of car you want. Do you need something with lots of room that is suitable for a growing family? Do you need to be able to fold the seats down? Do you want something that it is easy to park in small inner city spaces? After this you also need to research what you can expect to pay for the type of vehicle you’re looking for; it’s a good idea to read some reviews (from reliable sources, not just the internet at large) in order to try and gauge if this car is right for you. Motors.co.uk are now sharing information on the best way to go about buying a used car. The section called Ask an Expert includes video interviews with car dealers and downloadable guides for people who might not know where to start.
One of the industry experts interviewed, Jason Pritchard from Wessex Garages, re-iterates the importance of research, stating, “The Internet’s a fabulous place to find out things like models, variants, pricing structures, values for part exchanges. So research, research, research!”
- Trust your instinct
If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. A seller may be keen to close a deal but you have the power to walk away, you do not have to buy a car just to make someone happy. Gut instincts are there for a reason, and when you are informed you can have a greater assurance in following them.
- Check the car history
If you find a car that you like, check the registration at HPI Check – for a fee this tool will tell you if the car has been involved in a serious accident and whether it has formerly been ‘written off’ (i.e. the cost of repairing it exceeded the cost of the car). If this is the case, then you need to seriously consider moving on and finding another vehicle.
Also it’s worth considering which sites offer free car history checks for the cars they advertise, this is something you can also find on Motors.co.uk.
- Work out a budget
The price that a car is advertised for is not necessarily what the seller expects to get for it. Vehicles are priced with the expectation that the buyer will offer something slightly lower, and a dealer especially will expect to negotiate. Don’t feel like you’re being cheeky by asking; after all, if you don’t ask then you won’t get. A dealer may throw in goodies like parts insurance along with a finance deal, so work out how much you can afford and stick to it. This should also include whether the financing the car is going to be within your budget especially when it comes to running costs.
- Shop around
Finding a car that you quite like at the right price can be hard enough and you may not realise that without shopping around you are losing out on the opportunity to find a great deal or a nicer vehicle.
Nowadays most dealers use the popular online marketplaces like Motors.co.uk for advertising their range of stock. So it is often a smarter idea to use these sites before you start shopping around and it could be that you find the perfect car without all the hassle.
When it comes to viewing a car and you’re thinking about buying, don’t be scared to ask for more than one test drive and never ever rush into buying.
If you follow the points in this guide then you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the right car for you. Take control of the sale – after all, nothing is happening without your money – and always do what is right for you, not for the seller.