Buying a new car from a dealer can be both exciting and daunting, consideration around price, finance, potential repairs, as well as colour and style all have to be weighed up. At Southern we understand that for many drivers it can be hard to work out who is best to advise on buying a car, and often where to start can be overwhelming.
Based on our years of helping customers find the right car for them, the team at Southern have created this handy step-by-step guide on what you need to know when buying a new car.
Find your car style
So, first things first, what do you need the car to do for you. And we don’t mean just getting you from A to B. Nowadays cars are shaped around lifestyle, and aiming to make life as easy and as fun as possible. From hot in the market SUVs, through to hatchbacks, estates, superminis and city cars; it’s important to find a car that meets your needs and style.
When deciding what car to buy, keep in mind what size and shape of car you are after, but be prepared to dive into other categories. Need a car for city driving? Why not opt for a smaller car that you can manoeuvre through tight streets and park easily like a Corsa. If you are the taxi of mum and dad, then something with plenty of space and a good boot is sensible option, such as the Vauxhall Crossland X. There's always time for the convertible or sporty 3 door once the kids are gone!
You may have a figure in mind already but don’t forget it’s not just about how much you can afford to spend.
Before committing to buying anything, remember; research is key. Fuel efficiency of the car impacts your fuel costs per month. Car tax and insurance for the model you have in mind will also play an important factor too. This will also help work out what’s available to you within your initial budget range. It’s not just all about whether it’s new or used.
Have you also thought about taking up a finance deal, or would you simply prefer to buy the car outright? From PCP to PCH there are lots of different finance agreements available, so spend a little time researching what each of them means to see what is right for you. Then there’s what to do with your old motor, will you part exchange it? Or sell it for parts? Shop around to see who will give you a fair price. Don’t forget to haggle. You don’t get if you don’t ask.
We know how tempting it can be to stretch your budget that bit further when buying a new car, but have you considered all the extra costs? Some models will cost significantly more to insure than others, depending on engine size. For younger drivers, a black box may help lower your premiums, encouraging safer driving too.
Future proof your choice
Of course nobody knows what is around the corner but if you’re settling down for a family, it’s probably unwise to buy a soft top or small motor. Whilst your dream car may look the part and be everything you want, does it have everything that you need? Style comes in all shapes and sizes. If you have small children, a compact SUV like the Vauxhall Mokka X is a good bet, as the raised ride height makes getting kids and their seats into the car much easier. If you need your car to have certain features, such as sat-nav, parking sensors and leather seats, try to go for a trim level that includes them all together, as this is usually better value than adding items individually as options.
Test drive as many cars as you like, as much as you like. Never make a purchase just on impulse. Feel free to get used to the feel and handling of different cars. No two cars are the same, and different engine and gearbox combinations can completely alter the way a car drives, as can options like sports suspension and large alloy wheels.
Buying for the family? Take your partner and kids along to see what they think. They may notice things you hadn’t considered such as storage space or uncomfortable rear seats. Do you carry large items regularly? Take along your pushchair or golf clubs to really get an idea of what you can fit.
We know how much of an exciting time it can be finding your new motor. If you can stay level-headed throughout your purchase, you’ll really enjoy the fruits of your labour not only through the first few weeks of life with your new car, but for the next few years. Keep in mind practicality in size and requirements, budgets and running costs. But ultimately, this is where the real fun comes in; booking a test drive with us to find your perfect car. Enjoy a date with your next possible car companion.
For more information contact the team at Southern.