Tips for buying a new vehicle

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Are you thinking about upgrading to a new car? With approximately two million motor vehicles sold in the UK each year, buying and selling a car isn’t as difficult as it may initially seem.

If you’re currently feeling overwhelmed with where to start, the following guide will talk you through the different steps you should take.

Maximise value if selling

If you already own a car and are looking to sell it before buying a new model, investing some time researching how to get the best price for it is wise. This will give you a good opportunity to get the most cash possible to put towards your new car.

Sites that include a ‘Value my car’ tool take the guesswork out of knowing how much you should expect to receive for your current car.

Holding value

When buying a new car, it can be off-putting to know that its value begins decreasing as soon as you drive it off the lot. While this can’t be avoided with a new model, certain cars depreciate far quicker than others.

Buying a model that holds its value will means that you will get more for your money should you ever choose to sell it in the future. Manufacturers including Toyota and Volkswagen rank highly when it comes to holding value.

Timeframe

When you have decided which car is for you, you next need to consider when the perfect time to buy is. While it can be tempting to buy straight away the time of year that you buy can have a significant impact on the deal you get.

With quarterly targets to hits, dealers are far more likely to negotiate with you at the end of March, June, September, and December when they are under pressure to close deals.

Similarly, it is beneficial to visit dealerships during quiet times such as mid-week or the end of the month before payday, that way you can push for a better price.

Running costs

As well as considering a car depreciation rate, it is also important to consider its running costs.

There are a lot of different factors that influence the cost of running a car, including:

Engine size – Large engines typically burn through fuel much quicker than smaller ones, so opting for a 1.0 litre engine over a 2.0 litre could save you considerably in the long run. While this may seem like an obvious choice, if you plan on doing long drives at high speed, a smaller engine will have to work much harder and will consequently burn through more fuel so think about how you intend to use the car before deciding on this.

Manual vs Automatic – While automatic cars may be more convenient, they come at a higher purchase cost. However, many automatics are more fuel efficient than their manual equivalents so it can be worth splashing out more initially to save in the future.

Fuel type – There are significant differences between the cost of a petrol car vs a diesel, as well as between the cost of the fuel itself. There is more to consider than just these costs, you should also think about future regulations that will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. While this won’t stop you from selling your car, it could make it more difficult.