When buying a new car there is plenty to consider. From picking the best dealership to size, colour and comfort, getting it right is a decision that requires a lot of thought.
Of course financing a new car is another thing to mull over, as a limited budget may prove to be restrictive when it comes to additional extras and slightly wilder colour schemes.
The best starting point is to draw up a shortlist of vehicles you appreciate that you believe meet your needs.
Testing a car is absolutely vital as it helps you to get a feel for what is like. It is one thing to look at it in a car showroom but it is something else entirely to climb into the driving seat and test it out.
Your opinions might change very quickly after you actually try out a car, while ensuring that a dealer gives you sufficient time to test everything you need to.
Meeting your individual needs
The best way to start is to decide what sort of vehicles can meet your needs. This may include considerations about some of the following factors:
- Automatic or manual
- Boot space
- Engine size
- Number of seats
- Number of doors
- Fuel economy
- Running costs
The final part of that list is absolutely essential as running costs will quickly add up over the course of a year.
There are of course plenty of different cars on the market, so finding ones that meet as many criteria as possible should be the initial aim.
The costs of a tank of fuel and the miles possible with that tank should play a big part in your decision – unless you want regular and expensive trips to a petrol station.
Diesel cars tend to offer better fuel economy but they cost more to purchase, meaning you might need to drive for thousands of miles before a saving is even made.
Setting a budget
When purchasing a vehicle knowing how much funding is available is essential. If selling a current vehicle in order to fund or part fund a purchase, it is also important to know how much that vehicle will sell for.
Finance is one option or car loans could be used to cover the costs, provided that repayments can be completed with any agreed timeframes.
When other costs are also taken into account, you should be left with a ballpark figure of the amount you have to spend.
Any new car that then falls below that budget figure could therefore be considered as a realistic possible purchase.
Trying out a car before purchasing gives the best idea of what it would be like to actually own that particular model.
However, it’s important to use time wisely and remember that – unlike when buying a used car –there’s no need to check out any of the mechanical aspects.
Try out the vehicle on different roads and focus, where possible, on the sort of situations that you may encounter on a regular basis.
For instance, if you will use a vehicle for long distance driving make sure you try it out on the motorway or on dual carriageways.
Similar, if you intend to use the car in an urban setting then test it out around housing estates and in busy town centre settings.
Try out the vehicle with the family too and see if it can support your daily needs – will the weekly shop or your set of golf clubs fit comfortably into the vehicle?
Base models often come with very few extras and that means you can tailor vehicles to your needs.
Additions such as stereos, speaker types, air conditioning, parking sensors or built-in sat-nav systems can all add to the price but can enhance the vehicle, and its potential sell-on price.
But beware as not all extras are either necessary or enhance the vehicle so deciding what you do and do not need is imperative.
Even certain colour schemes on some vehicles can cost extra, so if you do opt for an extravagant colour just remember you have to live with that decision for all the time you have the vehicle.
These choices will often be influenced by individual needs and the budget available, as well as their personal tastes.