For most of us, a new car is a significant purchase. If you’re commuting frequently – or were doing, until the coronavirus pandemic broke out – then you’ll be spending quite a lot of your day behind the wheel. And this is likely to be the case once the situation has reverted to normal. If you’re an essential worker, then access to a quality car might now be more important than ever.
Fortunately, this is a fantastic time to buy, as a slump in global demand will result in prices falling, at least temporarily. But what factors are worth considering when you’re looking to make a new purchase?
There’s no better indication of a dealer’s faith in the car they’re selling than the length of the warranty. Reputable used dealers will make a point of putting the car through an extensive inspection before deciding on the length of warranty on offer.
Of course, buying a car directly from the previous owner (or, the person who bought it from auction) will mean that you don’t receive protection of this sort. You’ll have a little bit of protection here, as the Road Traffic Act 1988 prohibits the sale of vehicles which aren’t in roadworthy condition. Taking this sort of action, however, will require that you raise a complaint in the first place!
Perhaps the most important overriding consideration for buyers is the amount of money they’ll be likely to part with. While the up-front cost of the vehicle is important, so too are the costs that build up over the months and years. How much will it cost to keep this vehicle on the road? What’s the fuel efficiency like? How reliable is it? Once you’ve settled upon a model, it’s important to shop around in search of the best deal – just beware of anything that looks too good to be true.
If you want the ultimate in fuel efficiency, then you might have already looked at investing in an electric vehicle. While for many this is a sensible option, it’s not for everyone – and the risk of making the switch early is that you’ll pay over the odds in order to do so.
What Are You Looking For?
Your individual needs as a motorist should inform your decision. There’s no point in investing in something with two seats and a high-performance engine if you expect to be taking kids to school in the near future. Another consideration might be the size of your driveway – if there’s a narrow entrance, do you really want the hassle of manoeuvring an off-road vehicle onto there?