Finding the right car for you at the right price can be a daunting task. With so many options available, how do you know which make or model to go for? To help you narrow down the field, we’ve put together some considerations that you should take into account before your next car purchase.
1. Your needs
This may seem like an obvious one, but a lot of new car buyers don’t take time to understand their own needs. It’s always a good idea to get your imperatives established before you pay a visit to the showroom.
Think about how many seats you need, or if you need luggage space, and decide what’s most important to you out of economy and performances. It’s also a great idea to make a list of the conveniences you simply can’t do without, such as an iPod connection.
Don’t forget about how you plan on using the car, either. Will it become a first car for your kids one day? Or are you only going to keep it for a year or two? Once you’ve made a list of what you need from a new car, you’ll be able to narrow down your options considerably.
2. Your budget
A lot of people just look at the price of the car, but it’s important to dig a little deeper and find out how much cars on your shortlist will cost to run over a long period of time. Additional costs such as repairs, tax, fuel and insurance all add up, so make a plan and once you have a defined budget, make sure you stick to it.
3. Test drive
If you’ve narrowed your search to a handful of models, it’s important to not be embarrassed about asking for a test drive. After all, you’re only going to get a proper feel for the car if you drive it.
Whilst driving, think about everything you’ll be using the car for. Try out different switches, have a look at the doors, and all the different compartments. If possible, drive the car in familiar surroundings, so you get a true indication of what it would be like to drive every day. It’s also recommended that you take your kids with you on the test drive if you’re planning on buying a family car as they’re sure to help you put the car through its paces.
4. Remain open minded
If you’ve found the car of your dreams, it’s sometimes difficult to stay emotionally detached. It’s a good idea to stay open-minded, however, and have a backup car in mind, just in case something comes up with your number one choice. Putting all your eggs in one basket isn’t generally advised when you’re seeking out your next car purchase.
5. Knowing every detail
Whether you’re buying a new Nissan, a new Peugeot or a VW Golf, it’s important to know every detail before you sign on the dotted line. You need to be 100% clear over what you’re buying, so make sure you fully check the specification as well as the warranty and delivery date.