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Top 10 Tips for Buying a Car

Are you thinking of going on a car search? Is it maybe even the first time you do it? Then it will surely be a very memorable experience that you are going to make. Be careful and try to follow the following steps that I’m going to provide you with. Think about whether you want to buy your car privately, on the internet or through a car dealership. The car buying process is surely an important one and you should take enough time to make the best decision. 

#1 – Set a realistic budget.

Think carefully about what your budget is. Consider the fact that you will also need to calculate other expenses that will come along the way, such as petrol, car insurance, car tax and mechanical maintenance. They can vary considerably from car to car. Ideally, have an additional reserve for possible inflation, increase in petrol, car insurance or other unexpected charges. If you can’t pay for the whole amount upfront, make sure you assess all available options carefully and ask eventually a trusted person for some advice. 

#2 – Focus on your needs. 

Be clear about what type of car you are looking for. Do you want a sporty, large, luxury, small or midsized sedan? Also be aware of what your real transportation needs are throughout the year.  

3 – Research the basic information. 

Take advantage of the information you can get from the internet. Do your thorough research by reading magazine reports and other peoples’ reviews. Try also to find some videos on YouTube and if you know someone who drives the car of your dreams, approach them and ask the person to share their experience with you. Remember, the more you know about a car, the better you will be able to make up your mind, whether it’s the right choice for you or not. 

# 4 – Pay attention to certain safety features. 

Regardless of what car you buy, used or new, make sure you have features such as an ABS, an electronic stability control and side airbags that protect your head. 

# 5– Research the car prices. 

It’s worthwhile to check out the current car prices, so that you know whether you get a good deal or not. Look at the mileage, its condition and location. One useful approach in your car search would be to read classified car ads, they have usually a large amount of best used cars. 

# 6 – Check the car history! 

If you consider buying a second-hand car make sure you check the details of the car’s history. With the vehicle’s VIN (vehicle identification number) you can request a History Report which will provide you with highly important information, such as number of accidents involved, if it was stolen in the past, who the owners were previously, etc. Make absolutely sure you have this report before buying any car! 

 # 7 – Wait for the right moment. 

There are certain times in which you might get a better deal from a car dealership. For example, at the end of December when car traders want to end the year with strong sales figures, and other people are focusing on other things around that time. At the end of the summer is also good, since new models usually are being released beginning of autumn, and car traders would be keen to clear out their old stock to accommodate the new models. Watch out also for car trader or factory incentives and discounts, which can be offered throughout the year. Buying a car at the end of the month might also help you to get a better deal, since sometimes car traders might struggle to meet their monthly target. 

# 8 – Check it out thoroughly. 

It would be highly advisable to bring along another car-savvy person when going for a car search. Check out the car from inside out, top to bottom. Use the time during
daylight hours to inspect it thoroughly. Can you spot any paint flaws that indicate repairs or other problems? Your goal is to make sure to see if the car’s condition is the one that the seller is claiming. Having it inspected by a professional mechanic would be the best strategy. This would ensure that you are being warned about any potential issues. 

# 9 – Take always a test drive!  

Imagine…. you found the perfect car and you are so convinced that this is a great purchase that you don’t even think of taking a test drive. You pay for the car and drive it back home. Now the real feeling starts to sink in …. you feel highly uncomfortable and quite disappointed. You just wished you would have taken a test drive in the first place and realised that it’s not the right car for you. Lesson to be learnt? Never buy a car without test driving it first, it can be a real eye-
opening experience! Test it not just for 5 minutes but take an extensive ride of 30 minutes in which you can test all the features. You surely don’t want to be disappointed later on. If you are not being given this opportunity by a car trader or private person, forget that car and move on to another option. 

# 10 – Ask relevant questions. 

Make sure you ask all the relevant questions. For example: Will any warranty be given? Is all the paperwork available, such as handbook, registration document (V5C), all MOT records, do the details on the V5C document match the VIN number? What is the number and type of previous owners? Has the car been modified or repaired in the past? When did the last mechanical, history and mileage checks take place? Don’t underestimate this part in your car search process. 
Whatever car you choose: Let your emotions, not just your wallet, rule the transaction when buying your car! Also remember, a car that looks good does not say anything about its reliability. YOU will be driving that car, so you better choose one that perfectly meets your expectations and needs. It’s surely an additional responsibility but it can also give you a great sense of freedom. 

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