Buying a Car – The Ultimate Checklist

Whether you’ve bought multiple cars before or are buying a car for the first time, navigating the ins and the outs of this big purchase can be tough. With so many things to consider in the buying process, from the age and specification to the condition and insurance, here are some top things you need to know before you commit to your next set of wheels.

Buying a Car: Old or new?

You may have always wanted a brand new, never before owned, zero miles on the clock kind of car. But do you really need to splash out all that cash, or will a second hand one give you what you need? If you’ve recently passed your test and are on the hunt for your first run around, consider looking at cars that are at least a year old, but not too old! You’ll find they’re more cost effective if you are buying them on finance and if they’re not extremely old, they’ll be pretty cheap to run too.

There are however, many benefits that come with a new car. They’re less likely to have any problems with them in the near future for example. So, weigh up your options before you head to your local car garage. 

Buying a Car: Most reliable cars

If you’re on the hunt for a reliable car, be this your first or if you’re welcoming little ones into your life, according to buyacar’s research for 2019, the Lexus NX scored an impressive 96% on their reliability scale, with the Kia Sorento coming in close second. The Toyota Prius, Peugeot 3008 and Honda CR-V also made it onto the list. 

As long as when you’re choosing you look for the specifics you need, for example enough boot space for a pram, whether you want petrol, diesel or hybrid, and what kind of journeys you’ll be using it for, you’re sure to pick the right make and model for you. 

Watch out for upfront and ongoing costs!

Ah, those sneaky costs that often catch us off guard. Remember, there is more than just the initial deposit to pay when you’re buying a car. 

If you’re purchasing your next set of wheels on finance, you’ll need to pay the garage a down payment before you drive off. It’s also important to work out roughly how much your car will cost you in fuel per week or month, as if you’re unsure, this payment can often sneak up on you!

Do you know how much your new wheels are to tax each year and what an MOT and service will cost? All important things to consider before you head into the showroom to buy. After all, it’s not just the monthly finance payment that you’ll need to keep up with. Plus the older the car you buy, the more likely your MOTs and services will cost you. 

What insurance do I need?

There are three main types of car insurance, fully comprehensive, third party fire and theft and third party only. While all will cover you in some way, fully comprehensive will give you financial protection for accidental damage, fire, theft and any damage to third party property in the event of an accident. 

What about gap insurance? If you are buying a car that’s brand new, it’s recommended you consider taking out gap insurance. It’s a sad fact that if you buy a brand new car, its value drops by a third as soon as you drive it off the forecourt. If you have an accident or your car is stolen, your insurer will pay out what it’s worth at the time – which if it’s brand new, is likely to be a lot less than what you paid for it! So it’s definitely in your best interest as a new car owner to check it out.


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