Buying a new car can be tricky. Just because you’re supposed to know about cars, that doesn’t mean you do and if the closest you come to car maintenance is inflating the tyres then you’re going to need some help.
So what do you do when you need to make sure you buy a safe ride that isn’t going to fall to pieces the second you leave the showroom? You’re going to need to choose whether you buy new or secondhand and whether you’re going to go the route of a private seller or a dealership.
Sure there are advantages and disadvantages to both so take a look at our guide and decide where your next car’s coming from.
Straight off the showroom floor
Did you try and get the price down or did you drive away with no idea if you’ve got a good deal or not?
It could go either way but there’s no harm at all in trying to drive a hard bargain when you step onto the forecourt. Each of those sales people will have a target they’re trying to reach and you’re trying to get as much value for money as you possibly can.
It’s all a bit of a game, but remember that as the buyer you do have some power and if you’re stuck in negotiation deadlock then you can always walk away and start the process again elsewhere.
Negotiation doesn’t come easy at all for some people in any case, so do some research online to get an idea of what other models are going for and go into the showroom with the top figure you’re prepared to pay and what you want included for that figure.
If there aren’t much in the way of extras to offer then decide how much you’re prepared to pay for a more basic model and go from there.
The great advantage to the showroom is that you are likely to at least get some kind of warranty and possibly some free insurance or servicing.
From a private seller
The bottom line here is that unless you know what you’re doing you really have no idea what you’re driving away in and how long it’s been sitting in someone’s metal garages for.
You need to make sure it hasn’t been involved in a crash, has all the right paperwork and isn’t in imminent danger of going badly wrong.
The best thing you can do is to take a friend with mechanical know-how or a mechanic along with you to give it a once over and don’t even think about buying without taking it for a test drive.
Private or professional, do your due diligence and take a tour of cars online to establish your ideal make and model before you head out with your cheque book.
Get the low down on private cars with someone who knows what they’re talking about and get your bargaining hat on with some haggling that’s going to get you the deal you’re happy with.