With new ‘17’ registration plates now available in dealer showrooms hotukdeals, the UK’s biggest deal-sharing community, has put together this guide on how to buy your next car in a deal-savvy way to help save you money in the long run.
Do your research: It’s the same when buying anything – always check to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Use comparison sites and auto marketplaces for car insurance and car prices and visit a few dealers if you’re buying a second hand or new car outright or via hire purchase to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Deal forums, such as hotukdeals, often post car leasing deals and you can ask deal-savvy members their opinions and experiences to help you make that all important purchasing decision.
Timing is key: March and September are the months when new registration plates come out and there is a rise in the number of new cars being sold. When buying a new car some customers choose to part-exchange, so around this time dealers have a high number of used cars to sell. According to the Money Advice Service, this could give you more leverage in negotiating a better deal. Before these months dealers will also offer bargains whilst sales are slow with customers waiting for new models and plates to come in.
Know your rights: If you’re buying a second-hand car go to a dealer where you have more rights if you have any problems with the vehicle thanks to the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
If you do buy a car privately make sure you check it thoroughly before you make a purchase to reduce the risk of any repairs needed as it’s down to you to decide if it is worth the money you’re spending on it and that it won’t break down the first day you use it. To do this, make sure the registration documents refer to the car and seller in question and check the MOT history and status of the vehicle online before agreeing to purchase. Ask questions about the car and check things such as the tyres, lights and paintwork etc. If you’re unsure, companies such as the AA offer car checking services to help ensure you’re getting something reliable.
Consider a personal loan to fund the payment: If you’re unable to fund a car with cash consider a personal loan before heading down the car leasing and hire purchase route as with these options you either never own the car, or only own it once the final payment has been made. If you choose to pay via a personal loan, and have a good credit rating, shop around for a low interest rate, comparing the best APR so you know you’re getting the best deal. If you’re purchasing a second-hand car with a personal loan make sure you’ve thought about potential repair costs and how long you plan to keep it, so you know you’re spending the money wisely. You could also potentially use a credit card that has an interest free option on purchases, which you could then shift to a balance transfer to pay for a car. If you opt for a loan, credit card, leasing scheme or finance deal with a dealer make sure you can afford the repayments.
Do you need a car? If you’re an occasional driver instead of buying a car why not consider a car club, which operate in many cities in the UK thanks to companies like Zipcar where you hire a car for the time that you need them? These companies give you access to maintained cars and other vehicles without the hassle or expense of owning one. Not only do you save on car ownership, you also don’t need to worry about tax or insurance and fuel and congestion charges are often included in the price, as well as breakdown assistance. There is usually a membership fee for around £6 per month and an hourly rate for using a vehicle usually starts from around £5.00 per hour. The downside to these schemes is that you may not be able to get a car for when you want, so planning is key.