When we discovered that we were having our little Bean, one of the first things I suggested to the Hubster was that we invest in a new car. This went down about as well as the time I told him that we needed to remortgage our home to buy my dream pram. Oops! But our little run-around just wasn't going to cut it now that our family was growing. We needed something bigger, more reliable and more safe to transport our precious bundle around. So off we waddled to our nearest showroom without any real clue as to what we were looking for in a new, more grown-up, vehicle. Today's guest post, 8 Questions to Ask When Buying Your Next Car, would have come in real handy before making such a big investment last summer.
P.S. Ladies, if you're after a new car, casually drop into conversation how a set of golf clubs will fit perfectly into the boot of a bigger car...that one worked a charm for moi. You can thank me later.
I don’t know about you, but I remember all the cars I’ve ever owned pretty well. Everything about them, especially my first one. It’s a steady progression from the cheap little run-around you may have had when you were a student, but I’m sure we can all agree that the biggest jump of all comes when you start having children.
The arrival of our little bundles of joy changes so many things, and the four wheels on which you get around on are one of them. It quickly becomes time to make some room for the strollers, the car seats, and, if you’re further down the line, all the sports equipment too. But there are right ways and wrongs ways to go about buying yourself a new car, so, having done a little bit of homework, I thought I’d share some of the questions you should be getting answers to before taking the plunge…
Do I want a car that holds its value? If you think you might sell up again in a few years, you don’t want something that’s going to depreciate too quickly. Luckily, there are handy tools to help you calculate expected running costs and depreciation.
How much space do I need? This is the crucial determinant of whether to go for a hatchback, sedan, or perhaps even an estate. Hatchbacks are deceptively spacious for storage, but check that the stroller fits in the boot. And don’t forget to consider the dog in the equation too!
Is reliability the most important thing? If you hold reliability above all else, it’s worth doing your research beforehand on the various models. Here’s a list of Britain’s 10 most – and 10 least – reliable cars as of 2015.
Will I be covering a lot of mileage? If you’re generally just doing short trips in and around your residential area, it would make more sense to get a petrol car. But if you’re planning on racking up the miles, it may make more economic sense to go for a diesel.
How will I finance the car? If, like many of us, you’re needing a car loan to make the purchase happen, be sure to shop around on some price comparison sites for quotes. There are some really good deals out there on car finance at the moment, particularly from peer-to-peer lenders, whose APR can be as low as 5.3%.
How safe is the car I have in mind? Every year Euro NCAP outlines which models have scored the highest for safety in their respective classes, so it is worth perusing their reviews if you have a specific model in mind.
Am I being offered a decent warranty? Standard warranties for new cars should be between 3-7 years, covering all faults except typical wear and tear on certain parts. For used cars, it is often cheaper to buy warranties online, as opposed to the one a dealer may offer. It usually offers better all-round cover too.
What will the running costs be? Do the maths upfront. What do you estimate it will cost you for servicing, road tax, MOTs, fuel and insurance for the car? How does this stack up against the respective industry standard? These are crucial to ascertain, and must be factored into the final asking price.
If you and/or the dealer can answer all of the above with solutions that give you peace of mind, it may well be the right time to make an offer. If not, then don’t be scared to move on and continue the search. This is such an important purchase, and when you drive away in your new car, you want to have the peace of mind that you are doing so in one that will serve you and your family well for many years to come.
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