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What to Consider Before Buying a Car

Buying a new or replacement car is likely to be a considerable investment, so it’s important to think carefully about what to buy and how to buy it. If you’re thinking of getting a car, there are some practical considerations to take into account, including finance, the purpose of the vehicle, and your expertise in assessing the condition of the car you’re thinking of buying. Make a mistake with any of these factors, and you could end up severely out of pocket, so don’t take any chances; do your research and make sure of your budget before starting your search for a new car.

What will you be using the car for?

Think about why you need a car, and what you want to do with it. If you’re commuting a short distance for example, then a small car will be cheaper to run, or you could look at a hybrid or electric car. In many places, electrically powered cars get preferential treatment, paying lower charges than petrol or diesel vehicles. If you have a family to transport, then you need something that will comfortably fit all the kids, plus their school bags, and be as safe for them to travel in as possible.

You might have a special requirement for your car, for instance, if you have physical health issues you might need a car that’s easy to get into and out of, and has seats that are comfortable for you to sit in. Or you might be looking to tow a trailer on a regular basis, so you’ll need something with the requisite power and stability – and possibly off-road capabilities as well.

Once you’ve settled on the priority uses of your car, check out reviews online that cover the models in the relevant category to see which get the best ratings. Bear in mind that you need to interpret the findings because what may be critical to a reviewer may be less important to you.

Financing your car purchase

If you’ve been saving for a new car, then you could be in the fortunate position of being able to pay cash, which means you don’t have to worry about repaying loans; plus, you may get a discount with some dealers. However, for most people, finance is required to cover the cost of buying a car, because good ones aren’t cheap. You need to work out what you could sensibly afford to repay every month and compare the deals available to you from dealers, banks, and other lenders.

Check out reviews of car loans such as this one at, and see what deposits are required, and the total amount of interest you’ll be paying on the loan. It’s important not to over reach yourself because if you can’t keep up repayments, you could face the prospect of having your car repossessed, which is a costly and inconvenient experience.

Do you know much about cars?

If you’ve got a lot of experience with cars and all the checks you need to make on a car before you buy it, then you might want to look at private sales rather than going to a car dealer. Private sales are generally cheaper than dealer prices, but you do need to be sure you’d be able to pick up on any defects. On the other hand, if you know little about cars, don’t consider a private purchase unless you have a knowledgeable friend or relative who can go with you to view the car.

Buying from a reputable dealer is the best option if you don’t have a reliable car expert to help out. Dealers should run quality and safety checks on all the vehicles they sell, and your car should be serviced and come with a warranty to give you peace of mind. Dealers need to have a good reputation, so if anything does go wrong with your vehicle after you’ve purchased it, you should be able to get it fixed without too much trouble. You’ll probably pay a little more than you would buying the same car privately, but you do get the reassurance that comes with a dealer purchase.

Now you know what kind of car you want, you have a budget in mind, and you know where to look for likely vehicles. Don’t rush into your purchase; try several different makes and models from your shortlist before making a decision, and be open to suggestions from the dealers – they may have a car that would fit your criteria and budget that you hadn’t considered. If you follow these guidelines, you should end up with a car that you’ll enjoy driving for many trouble-free years.