Top Tips to Buying a New Car

1. Do your Homework

  • Remember that knowledge is power, do as much research as you possibly can because the more you know the more confident you will be.
  • Try to find out about any promotions that manufacturers may be offering to the dealer, they often offer cash incentives for the dealer either at the end of the month or at the end of an old registration to help with the number of car sales. The dealer will get paid a bonus depending on the number of sales put through in a certain time period.  It’s a good time to buy as the dealer will be a bit more generous with their discounts in order to clinch the deal.
  • For example, Volvo New Zealand has recently launched a special edition version of the S60 and V60 Polestar performance cars.
  • One way is to use the internet to find out the best price for the car you want and the different discounts being offered.

2. Test Drive

  • You would not believe the number of people who try and do a deal even before they have test driven the car.  How do you know if the car is right for you without trying it, you wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes without trying them on first!   As well as conveying to the salesman that you are serious it provides you with the opportunity to get them on their own and they may give you more information.
  • If they do not offer a test drive then ask for one, sometimes you can borrow the car for up to 24 hours which gives you the chance to try it on different roads.

3. Be pleasant and serious

  • You want the salesperson on your side as they will be more willing to help you. Also, let them know that you are going to buy a car whether it is from them or not, salespeople switch-off if they think you are just looking around, they will try harder if they think you are serious about buying a car.

4. Set your Budget

  • Set the amount you are going to spend before you go off to buy your new car. When the salesperson asks you how much is your budget doesn’t give him a figure, say it is flexible depending on the car and the deal otherwise all they will do is come somewhere close to it, you want to try and achieve the lowest figure possible.

5. Don’t Keep Local – Travel for the right deal.

  • Would you travel for a couple of hours to save £1,000, that would equate to approx £500 per hour, not bad work. Consider all the options and do not get blinkered on location and convenience.

6. Timing and knowing when and when not to buy

  • Deciding on when you buy your new car is just as important.
  • At certain times of the year, you can save a lot of money.  For example, if you are looking for a 4×4 car in January then you would probably pay the most at this time of year. Also, this is the time of year when the fleet cars tend to get changed so avoid it if you can, By using some common sense say by looking in December most people are spending for Christmas, and as such the dealers are quiet so you should get a great deal, but remember to insist on getting the car registered in January so you get the New Year on your documents.

7.  Never Buy Alone

  • Always take a friend along as they will not be emotionally involved. They can be the one asking all the awkward questions, but let the salesperson know it is you doing the negotiating.  They can also be your backup which puts you in a stronger position to do a deal.

8.  Be realistic on part-ex values

  • One sticking point is always your part-exchange value. Don’t expect miracles – the dealer should give you trade value for your car. However, if you do some research you should be able to improve the price by showing some knowledge.
  • A little research will also let you know if your car is better sold privately or not. Part exchanging is a lot easier and more convenient and if it is only a couple of hundred pounds difference it’s probably worth it!

9. Don’t be afraid to walk away

  • Don’t be afraid to walk away.  Don’t be afraid to leave the dealership.  As long as they are aware you are serious, they will usually phone you back.  This is your last chance to get some more money off. If a dealer thinks they have lost a deal and has a chance to revive it, they usually will.
FINALLY – Don’t sign for anything in the heat of the moment – REMEMBER to buy with your head and not with your heart.   
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