When it comes to big purchases, a car is one of the biggest you'll make. Whether you drive for work or simply need a vehicle for making life easier, a car is a huge commitment. As such, you need to ensure you are buying the right one to suit your needs and budget.
To help ensure you buy a car that isn't going to break down on you and that won't cost you a fortune to run, here are some tips to use when buying a new car:
The first thing you need to consider is whether you want to buy a used or new car. New cars have a higher price ticket but mean you can have the latest model with all the mod cons. Not only will the initial cost of a new car be more, but it is likely that insurance will be too, so it is worth checking this before you buy.
If you want a cheaper option, a used car is probably the best bet. Buying a used car will allow you to save money and still get a reasonably new model. However, you want to check that the car really is in full working order before purchasing, especially if buying from a private seller. If you need tips, we covered the most important things to look for when buying a second hand car.
There has been a significant increase in the number of Irish people buying hybrid or fully electric cars. The number of electric cars registered for the first time more than doubled in 2021. This may be due to improvements in the performance and variety of cars on the market. There are many advantages to making your new car a EV:
It is a good idea to know what car you want to buy before you go to a dealership or start looking for a private seller. Have a look at which cars fit your needs, as well as what the price usually is for particular models. You will find detailed recommended price guides on the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) website. Make a checklist of the items that you feel are important in the car of your choice, be practical as to what your needs are.
This means you know you are looking for the right one and you have a good idea of how much your chosen car costs on the market. Not only will this allow you to spot a deal, you'll also be in a better position when it comes to haggling to get the best price possible. If you are buying a second hand car, a site like motorcheck.ie can provide you with an official car history check. The CCPC (Competition and Consumer Protection Commission) have a whole range of helpful information for anything you could possibly need to know when buying a car.
There's no point in shopping for a new car unless you have a budget in mind. You need to know how much you can realistically spend, as well as how long it will take you to get the cash together.
Once you have found the car you want, it can be tempting to go over budget to ensure you get it, but you should stick to your budget and be prepared to walk away if you can't get a deal that works with the price you've set. One of the best tips for sticking to a budget is to sleep on it. If you don’t need the car immediately, take up to a week to think on it. Does the purchase come with a payment plan that you can stick to? How will it benefit your day-to-day life? Is the benefit worth the cost? These are the important things to consider to make sure you stay within budget.
Should you go dealership, private seller or auction? A franchise dealership is contracted to a car manufacturer that allows them to sell their products. Franchise dealerships are considered to be the safest option for purchasing a used car as the used cars that they sell are typically approved and prepared to the highest standard. The cars are also serviced with genuine brand parts and come with all of the benefits and warranties that the manufacturer offers through its outlets. An Independent car dealership is one that has no affiliation with a manufacturer and stocks a wide range of used car brands. Although not considered as “safe” as a franchised dealer you are still protected by the Consumer Rights Act if you were to run into any issues.
A private seller is an individual who has advertised a used car and whose normal business is not to sell cars. In the case of private sellers, there is very little legal protection if the car is faulty. It is very important to get the opinion of a trusted mechanic on the car before making any purchase from a private seller.
Buying at auction can be a way to purchase a car for a great deal. But it is highly recommended that you know a lot about cars or are with someone who does when buying a car this way. Cars are “sold as seen” which means they’re sold with all its faults and carries no guarantee whatsoever.
No matter what route you choose, you should find out as much as you can about the company you are purchasing the car from. Are they an established trader with a good reputation or a member of a trade association such as SIMI?
It may feel exciting to be able to move up a model, but it is highly likely the cost of your insurance will increase also. There are many factors insurance companies take into consideration when it comes to pricing premiums, the horsepower of your car is one of them. So if you want cheaper car insurance, consider this when you are looking at new cars to buy.
You should always try before you buy when it comes to cars. You need to get a feel for the vehicle and make sure it is comfortable for you.
A test drive will also ensure there are no odd noises or strange movements. Having a friend with you who knows a bit about cars will also provide backup in case you miss something that isn't quite right. Even if any problems aren't really big issues, they could help the price come down when you're haggling.
The end of each sales quarter in car dealerships can be a great time to buy a car as salespeople will be looking to hit their sales targets. So, this means that shopping in March, June, September and December can lead to you receiving some attractive offers as staff are looking to hit their numbers.
June and December can be especially good for the deals as these are the final months before the end of the registration period. Dealerships might be looking to move on their older registered cars to make room for their brand “new” cars. If you need more information, we have previously covered when the best time of year to buy a car is.
It is also a good idea for you and a friend to have a look under the hood and to check the tyres. While this won't necessarily be the case with new cars, used cars could have problems that affect how they run.
Most sellers will be fine with you inspecting the vehicle, so you shouldn't worry about asking. If you spot anything that doesn't look quite right, bring it up with the seller as this could highlight any potential problems and may help you get a discount.
Whether you're buying from a dealership or a private seller, you should let them know that you are serious about making a purchase. This could help you get a better deal as the seller will know they aren't being messed around.
However, you still need to play it cool a little bit. After all, you don't want to come across as desperate to buy as this could stop the price dropping.
Buying a new car is exciting but it’s important to consider the above points to ensure you get the best vehicle to suit you and your lifestyle. Get an online car insurance quote in just minutes with AIG and see how much you can save with our 10% online discount.