Your no-nonsense guide to getting right car at right price.
Buying a car can be quite daunting. With so many makes, models and finance options available and other decisions, it can be difficult to find deal that leaves you 100% happy. However, following pointers should help you make an educated decision when buying a new or used car. Where to buy?
There are number of ways to buy a new or used car – a car dealership isn’t your only option. For example, there are independent dealers, importers, brokers, auction, online, car supermarkets or privately.
Here we weigh up pros and cons of each of them:
Car and Independent Dealers Using a dealer to buy your new or used car can be convenient as you can have a test drive and salesman should be more versed in car details as compared to say buying a car from a broker, or by buying a car online.
Dealers will offer deals such as free insurance or low-rate finance. January – traditionally a very slow month for car dealers who offer extra specials incentives to try and get your custom - is also a time where you may be able to snap up a bargain.
Most new cars come with a two or three warranty (most with breakdown cover included as well for same period).
If you have a car to part exchange, car dealer will normally take it as part of a deposit, which means it is off your hands without hassle of trying to sell it privately. However, do bear in mind that you will not get full market value for it.
However, downside of buying from a car dealership is that their prices can be higher than elsewhere as they need to cover cost of showroom and staff.
And, if there aren’t any finance incentives at dealership, choosing their finance scheme will be, in most cases, expensive.
Importers If you a buy a car in from Europe, you do stand to save money, though in some cases, UK deals are increasingly competitive. Lower prices over here and exchange rate fluctuations mean imports aren’t quite outstanding bargains they used to be.
Brokers A broker is an intermediary who negotiates with a dealer on your behalf to get you a cut-price car. Car brokers use their bulk –buying power to secure discounts which they then pass on to customer (after they’ve taken their cut of course!)
Auction You can be sure of snapping up a bargain if you buy at auction, but it is best if you visit a few auctions before taking plunge. Visit and learn ropes or take a knowledgeable friend. With Auctions, you will get more legal protection at an auction than buying privately.
Car Supermarkets Car Supermarkets offer a huge choice at competitive prices. However, there is little room for negotiation and you may get a low bid for your part-exchange and limited pre-sales checks.
Some car supermarkets also charge you extra for a warranty (if maker’s cover has expired), a history check and road tax.
Online This process is all carried out online. You can visit a manufacturer’s website or a specialist online car broker such as JamJar. Everything can be completed online - finding and choosing of car, specification options, finance options, delivery details, and, in some cases even part exchanges.
The disadvantage to this service that you can not test drive car.
Privately Buying privately is a risky way to get a car as you have very little legal protection should anything go wrong. Many dealers masquerade as private sellers to duck their legal responsibilities, so always check that log book details match up.
Always take someone who knows about cars along with you and always view any private car in broad daylight when any dinks, dents and damage are visible!
Financing your new car
Once you’ve decided where to buy your next car, you need to think about finance.
Very few of us buy a car with cash, and borrowing money is only option. However, there are so many different types of finance to choose from, it can be difficult knowing which is right one for you.