7 steps to simplify your next car purchase.

Charlotte Miller

Updated on:

Many drivers feel like they couldn’t live without a car, but a car purchase can be a big one so it’s important it’s right for your situation. Before you even head to the dealership, you should first think about what you need from your next car and how much you can afford to pay for one. After that, you should get an idea of which cars are in your budget and the market value of those cars. Preparing for your next car can help you to save time and money and helps you to get the right car. So, if you’re in the market for your next car, read our top tips on how to make the car finance process easier.

  1. Set your budget.

As with any big purchase, the first thing you should determine is how much you can afford to pay. A free car payment calculator can help you to get an idea of how much you could borrow for a car and then allows you to shop for cars within your budget. If you’re finding it hard to save one lump sum payment for a car, you could consider car finance to help spread the cost. However, not everyone will be able to get a car on finance and you will need a lender to approve your application first.

  1. Know what you need.

A car purchase is pointless if it doesn’t fit your needs and requirements. Before you can find a car that’s right for you, you will need to consider what you need from your next car. Figure out what’s most important to you before you start shopping. Do you need enough space for the full family? Do you need a city car with low running costs? Or do you need a diesel car for those long motorway journeys? Whatever your requirements are, setting them before you head to the dealership can help you to make the buying process easier.

  1. Buy a used car.

Secondhand cars are great if you’re on a budget and you want a car which holds its value better. We agree buying a brand-new car can be exciting and personalizing a new car to your needs is great, but it can also be expensive. Brand new cars also lose a lot of their value in the first few years of ownership so buying a used car means you can get a car which depreciates slower.

  1. Check insurance rates.

In the UK, all cars driven on the roads must have a valid insurance policy in place. Insurnace rates can differ massively between drivers and can be impacted by the type of car you buy. To get an accurate idea of how much your next car could cost you, it can be a good idea to check the insurance rates of cars within your budget to see how much you could be paying. Car insurance premiums can be expensive, especially if you’re a young or first-time driver so get ahead of the game by comparing premiums first.

  1. Research market value.

It’s important that you are aware of how much cars in your budget can cost. A quick online search for car makes and models you can afford can help you to get an idea of which cars are available to buy around you and at what price. If there’s a car dealer down the road selling a car for the same price but a higher spec, it can help you to compare cars in an instance and get the deal that’s right for you. It’s also good to know when it comes to negotiating the price as you could use this as leverage to get a cheaper price.

  1. Ask questions.

Once you’re ready to head to the dealership, don’t be afraid to ask the salesperson as many questions as you may need to. If you’re buying your first car, it can be an especially daunting experience. Using a reputable and trusted dealership is key and you can verify their reputation by reading customer reviews. The dealer will need to follow the guidelines set by the FCA and they should do what they can to make sure you’re getting the car that’s right for you.

  1. Take a test drive.

If you’ve found a car within your budget and one that fits your needs, it is time to take it out for a spin! Dealers will encourage you to take the car for a test drive and you shouldn’t buy a car if you don’t know how it drives. If you’re buying a secondhand card, this also gives you the opportunity to check the car over for any defects whilst you’re out on the road. If you’ve just passed your test and are worried about taking a test drive alone, take someone you trust along with you to the dealer or asl the salesperson to accompany you.