Choosing to buy a new car is perhaps one of the most exciting things we’ll ever do. It’s a chance to upgrade our well-worn old model for something that looks great, performs perfectly and allows us to enjoy each and every single journey we take.
Yet because it’s so exciting, it’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed when faced with the sheer number of options available to us.
Heading down to our local car dealer or browsing through the online catalogues of our favourite car brands, our eyes meet the car of our dreams, we fall in love, and before we know we’ve paid way more than we can afford on something that might deliver top speeds but is completely impractical for what we need, or that looks like the most beautifully designed car in the world, yet guzzles up more fuel than we could ever hope to pay for.
That’s why it’s so important to take a step back for a while and really plan out our new purchase.
To help you do just that, here’s a few of our top tips for buying a new car.
Decide what it is you really need
Are you in the market for a luxury car to cruise around in at the weekend or something much more down to earth for driving the kids to school? Are you going to need plenty of storage space to carry your luggage on those long business trips, or a top of the range entertainment system to keep the family amused the next time you go to visit family hundreds of miles away?
Give some thought to how you’re actually going to use your new car, and what features are essential to help you do that. When you know what you need in advance, you’ll have a much easier time of picking something that suits, rather than something that just sounds good on paper.
Set your budget – and stick to it
It isn’t hard to get carried away when buying a new car, especially when there’s that one little roadster that’s just crying out for our attention, but that’s when problems start to crop up.
Spend more than you can really afford, and chances are you’ll have a financial headache to deal with as you try to balance everything out again.
Instead, decide in advance what you’re able to spend on a car, and don’t go over that. Some people we know like to set both an ideal budget and an absolute maximum budget, treating themselves to just that little extra in case they come across a car that realy tugs at their heartstrings. Even if you go down this route, it pays to know in advance hwo you’ll come up with that little extra money, and to make sure that it won’t cause you any issues down the line.
Look at fuel consumption
Again, this comes down to budget. Cost might not be a primary factor for you when you chose to buy a new car, but for many of us it is. The more fuel your potential new car eats up, the more you’re going to be paying in the long run, especially if you’ll be on the road a lot.
These days, many of the leading car manufacturers are making big strides into the eco-friendly market, so if the cost of fuel is an issue for you, this might be well worth exploring.
Try before you buy
Now comes the fun part. You’ve decided what you need from you car, you’ve worked out how much you’re going to spend on it, and you’ve even made a list of two or three models that suit your style, your needs, and your budget, now it’s time to get out on the road and try them out.
If you have a couple of top contenders in mind, it makes sense to see if you can test them all out on the same day so that you’ll have all that fresh experience to draw on when you retire at the end of the day to make a decision.