Top Tips for buying a car

Consumer champions, Which? have pulled together a guide on when the best time is to buy a car.  In ten handy points, you can be wiser and smarter when it comes to making that next purchase.

  • If you are thinking of going for a second hand car from a dealership, the timing is crucial.  Forecourt space is at a premium and so dealers will want to make room for the new registration plates when they are released. So If you shop around a few weeks after the plate change, you could land yourself a bargain.  New plates come out in March and September.
  • If you are in the market for a new car, avoid the months just before the next plates are due to come out.  Buying a new vehicle in August can turn into a costly mistake with the new registrations coming out in September. Literally thousands of pounds can be wiped off the value of your new motor if you time it wrong.
  • If you aren’t too worried about having the latest version of a car, then wait until the new iteration of the model is due to be released.  The previous version might drop in price, giving you the chance to nab yourself a bargain.
  • Knowing your stuff when it comes to the motor industry could pay off.  If you know a car is due to be upgraded soon, there could be a deal to be had on the existing models.
  • If you don’t want to deal with some of the teething problems that often come with brand new cars and models, avoid buying them straight out of production.  Wait for a while until the issues have been resolved before you take the plunge.
  • If the security of a warranty is important to you, make sure you buy a car less than three years old, or go for a car that has a longer warranty like Kia.  But don’t forget, a car new enough to be within warranty, is likely to depreciate further.
  • If you can see past the high mileage, an ex fleet car can be a sound investment.  Usually found in larger car supermarkets you could find yourself driving away with a well-maintained car.
  • It stands to reason that convertible cars are pricier in the summer and likewise, you could fork out more for a 4×4 in the middle of winter.  If you can forward plan enough, buying one of these out of season could save you a packet.
  • Sounds obvious, but make sure you view a car in the daytime.  Dents and scratches can easily be hidden if it’s darker.
  • And the final word of advice from Which?….If you are looking to keep your costs down, you might want to consider sticking with your current car. Even the cost of maintaining it is likely to be less than the money you could lose on the depreciation of a newer model.

Garrath Hussey, CEO of Think Insurance comments on the advice from Which? “These tips are great for anyone looking to invest in a new car.  With so much choice it is important that motorists know what to look out for and when the best time is to go shopping.  We would also recommend that people talk to local motor traders in their area.  Often these smaller, independent traders can offer exceptional value for money, and it’s important to support smaller, local businesses in the current climate”.

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