Buying a new or used car for less can be especially challenging for the first-time car buyer – you want it to suit your needs, personality and taste, but it has to fit your budget, too. There’s more to buying a car than choosing a color and finding one with the ideal number of doors and seats, and we’ve got some guidance to help you get the best deal possible.
At Motorward we always suggest you go car shopping towards the end of the month or the end of the quarter, when dealers are trying to meet their quotas – this gives you the best leverage for haggling. Remember that a car’s MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) is not its price tag; it’s a suggestion. Also, unless you can find a dealer offering 0 percent APR to buyers with good credit scores, try to secure financing through your bank before going to the dealership. If your bank’s interest rate is lower, it will make a major difference in what you end up paying for the vehicle.
With tight budgets and even tighter lines of financing and difficult credit authorizations for many people, cheaper, less luxurious and used cars are more in demand.
With a bit of research, one can find reliable used cars at a fraction of the cost of new. Dealerships have used cars for sale with warranties and service agreements, just like when you buy new.
Buying used is the best bet for customers on a budget who want a large sedan or SUV, and used is your only option if your favorite model has been discontinued. For some, buying used may be the only way to get exactly what you want in a vehicle, and it’s a smart move for those who want to minimize their exposure to depreciation, too.
Warranties are another consideration. Some warranties are transferable, and that’s good for resale value. Make sure to read the warranty; Honda, Ford and Toyota offer standard 3-year, 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranties on their cars while Kia stretches that out to 5 years and 60,000 miles.
Purchasing from a private party can save money, but it comes with risks, too. If you go this route, be sure to have the car inspected by a mechanic before you buy and check the vehicle identification number.
There are a number of styles of compacts: coupes, sedans, hatchbacks and wagons. Sometimes, these options are available in a single make of car. The 2013 Ford Fiesta, for example, has an MSRP of £7,000-14,000 and comes either as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback with a variety of options.
Honda’s Civic is is an attractive and popular compact with decent gas mileage and cargo capacity for around £17,000 if you’re looking for a 2017 model. It isn’t particularly fast, but this petrol sipper boasts interior room to rival some SUVs.
Mid-Size, Full-Size, Minivans and SUVs
If you want a mid-size, full-size, minivan or SUV, be prepared to pay more – they run about £18,000-£25,000 and up. There are a few exceptions to this rule, though. The 2015 Ford Galaxy starts at around £11,000 and received glowing reviews.
Expect your monthly cost of ownership to be made up of the car payment, insurance, fuel, taxes/fees and maintenance, so remember to find a good tool to simulate all the costs and you’re good to go!