A car is a big investment, and even if you’re going for a slightly older and used model you’re still going to part with a few thousand pounds. And for most of us, this is always going to be a significant sum of money. For this reason, buying a car isn’t something you should rush into, and it makes sense to ponder over different models and types to get to something that’s right for you. Will you go with petrol or diesel? A hatchback, estate, coupé or SUV? Do you want manual or automatic? Once you’ve answered these kinds of questions you can start building your shortlist, but it doesn’t stop there.
Once you’ve had a good browse through cars for sale based on your criteria, here’s how you can whittle your choices down even further.
Run insurance quotes
As well as the cost of the car, insurance will be your other big cost especially if you’re a newer driver or don’t have a perfect insurance history. Penalty points, accidents and other factors will all come into play. Before you sign on the dotted line and buy the car you think is perfect for you, run some insurance quotes first. Even cars which have a similar age, engine size and model can vary wildly in price, so don’t overlook this. You need to ensure that the insurance is something you can afford, and the pricier cars on your shortlist can perhaps be removed.
Check reliability statistics and repair costs
A car is a complex piece of machinery with many moving and hardworking parts. Therefore you’re always going to need repairs over the course of its life. However some cars are known for being more reliable, and cheaper to fix than others. To ensure you’re not stung with expensive, unexpected costs then this is something you could look into. Older and rarer cars for example can be trickier to source parts for, meaning they’re more expensive.
Are the safety features up to scratch?
We all want cars that are as safe as possible, in the event of an incident we want to give ourselves the best chance of survival. But families with young children might be particularly concerned about this, and it’s likely to be one of the deciding factors. So checking out safety features and crash test statistics, you could whittle your shortlist down this way.
Take it on a thorough test drive
Finally, when you think you’ve found the car for you, be sure to take it on a thorough test drive. See how it handles, and how it feels to drive. Is it comfortable, does it feel spacious enough for your needs? Check out boot space, and visually inspect the model you intend on buying, checking for any signs of damage. If anything isn’t quite right, then be prepared to walk away. Wait for another suitable model to crop up or take a look at the other cars on your shortlist.
How would you make sure the car you’re buying is right for you?