Buying a car is something the majority of adults will need to navigate more than once during their lives. Quite frankly, it’s scary and requires knowledge that I do not have. So I thought I would share with you my tips for buying a car in the 21st Century.
I have had the same car since I passed my test and that was 7 years ago. She was a Suzuki Alto SZ3 and she has done me proud. But recently I have found that I have been outgrowing her. This is probably not the best reason to a lot of people but it was for me. When I bought my first car I had my dad with me but this time I was on my own.
Before You Start Looking
The first tip I can give you is to know what you want before you go looking at anything. This doesn’t mean that you have to know the year, colour and interior that you want. However I would advise that you at least know the make and model that you want. This will ensure that you don’t bounce from car to car in a garage.
Secondly I would advise that you do your research on the make and model. You will want to ensure that there are no particular years that you would need to avoid. For example, when I was looking into the FIAT 500, I found we should avoid the 13 & 15 plates as they are prone to problems. In addition, you will need be aware if there are any particular traits that you should be looking for. For example, older Volkswagen cars have a tendency to rust on the wheel arches and round the fuel cap.
Finally, before viewing any cars, you should know how you intend to pay for it. This was the biggest hurdle for me as I bought my first car with inheritance. Most current interest rates made monthly payments too high. If you are looking to part-ex your car then I would suggest getting a few quotes to know how much your car is worth to different buyers.
Looking At Cars
When you first start looking at the car that you want I would advise looking online first. This will give you a good idea at what the price range is that you are looking at. Most listings will also give the mileage that is on the car and allow you to see the MOT history. This will tie into my second point as you will be able to see if it has ever failed.
Following this, I would actually advise that you go and look at some local garages as they can sometimes offer you a better deal than some of the big corporations. That being said if you are looking at financing a car, the smaller garages are sometimes unable to offer this.
My final tip for viewing the car would be to take someone with you that knows a little bit about engines if you are unsure yourself. It can also prevent you from being coerced into buying something that you are unsure about.
Purchasing The Car
When you go to collect your new car, if you are part exchanging, ensure you have all documents/paperwork that you may need. In my personal experience, it is always better to take too much than not enough. If you are unsure what these may consist of, check out my list below.
Always make sure you have checked your insurance and tax before you collect the car. The last thing you want is to find the perfect car and at the last minute find out you can’t afford the insurance.
If possible, always test drive the car as you may find that you get in the car and find that you hate driving it. The test drive will also allow you to hear any funny noises the car might make and anything that you may need to listen for in the future.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my tips for buying a car. I’m hoping that they are able to help you find the best car for you in the future. It would be great to hear if you guys have any tips for those looking to buy a car. I am planning to do a car tour of my new baby soon, so if you would like to see that drop me a comment below.