Buying a Car – What Do You Need to Consider?
Buying a car is a major financial decision for any household to make. In a time where household running costs are higher than ever, the purchase of a new car is even more important a decision for the impacts it can have.
If you are relatively new to driving, it might feel overfacing to make a decision, what with the thousands of different makes and models on the market – to say nothing of the different ways in which you can buy. What follows are some of the basic things you should take into consideration before you buy.
What Will You Use It For?
First things first, you need to match the cars you’re looking at with the most common form of use it will get. Simply put: why do you need a car? If you’re a new business owner or recently-promoted executive looking for a smooth commute in a sleek package, you might look at executive saloons from Mercedes or BMWs. If you’re looking for a suitable vehicle to carry out the school run each morning, a basic compact MPV by Citroen or Fiat would be more suitable.
What is Your Budget?
Whatever your requirements for your new car, your budget will feature heavily in your decision-making. Lower budgets do not necessarily price you out of more high-value models of car; used Mercedes are easy to find and much cheaper than their showroom alternatives. However, budgets also extend to the longer-term running costs of your car – including petrol and maintenance. An older car might be less fuel-efficient and less reliable, creating longer-term cost issues.
The running costs of your car are not bounded to the direct costs associated with driving it. There are secondary costs that emerge from additional provisions you need to consider – the most important of which is insurance coverage. You are legally required to have an insurance plan covering yourself with your vehicle, with third party insurance the legal minimum requirement.
There are a number of factors that can influence the cost of your insurance plan, including your driving experience and history. But more importantly, some cars are much more expensive to insure than others, on account of their age or reliability. Not only should you be budgeting with ample room for insurance costs, but you should also be factoring in the impact of shortlisted car models on your insurance estimates.
Lastly, it is key that you do your due diligence with regard to potential sellers before you buy. You want to ensure that a given seller is trustworthy, that the car is as described in its advertisement and that the seller has the right to sell the car to begin with. This is especially important for second-hand sales, where individual sellers could more easily attempt to defraud potential buyers with incorrect documentation.