Ten Questions to ask before you buy a new car…
How Logbook Loans can help you buy a new car…
Spring is the time when many people decide to buy a new car. But to make sure you get the best deal, you need to be prepared before heading for the car showroom. If you do your research, and ask the right questions, you will be in a strong position to get the car you want at the best possible price.
So here are ten questions that you should ask before you buy a new car:
1. Why would you recommend this car?
Most of us head to a car dealer with one or more particular makes and models in mind. Make sure that you do your research before you so this so that you understand all the features of the car and any known issues with it. Look at reviews – especially from owners – videos, magazine and web articles so that you know the ins and outs.
Then when you get to the dealer ask the salesperson to tell you about the car. This will help you to establish how trustworthy and knowledgeable the salesperson is, so that you have confidence in their ability to help you.
2. Can you make it worth my while to part exchange my old car?
Let’s face it, it is much easier for you if the dealer will part exchange your old car as part of the buying process. But make sure you get a good deal. Get your car valued first so that you have a figure in mind that you will accept. Insist on getting a fair price for your old car: it could make a big difference to what you end up paying and therefore whether or not you can afford to buy the new car.
3. What is the best deal you can give me on this car?
There are so many car deals around that it can be very confusing. So do check prices with the dealer’s competitors before you go. Whilst the actual selling price of a new car is likely to be the same across different dealers, there may be a short term special offer at one dealer that could make it work for you.
4. What finance options are available?
If you are buying a brand new car then the finance APR may be fixed by the manufacturer, but for used cars the dealers may be able to be a bit more flexible. But do your research before you go so that you know the options available.
You also need to decide whether you want to buy the car outright (even if this means taking a loan for part of the cost) or take the car on some kind of PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) deal where you pay a reduced loan for a fixed period of time then either pay a lump sum (“balloon payment”) at the end if you want to keep the car or enter a new PCP agreement for another car.
5. When is the best time for me to buy this car?
If you find a car you like but the price is not quite right then find out if there will be a better time to do this. It can work to your advantage not to buy on your first visit to a dealership. Dealers will be keen to close the sale that first visit because they know that many customers will not return if they walk away. So deliberately taking time to make your decision will help you to negotiate.
Be aware that the end of the month or the end of a quarter are usually good times to buy a car as dealers have targets to meet and may be willing to offer better deals at these times to shift more cars. Also quieter months such as December can be a good time to negotiate a better deal. There may be special offers and deals to boost sales at these times.
6. Are there any plans for a new model of this car?
If you ask this question carefully then the salesperson may enthuse about all the additional features of the new model. But if you are happy with the older style then the launch of a new model can be a good time to get one: dealers will be trying to sell the old model and clear their supply. So if there is a particular make/model you want to buy and there is a new version about to be launched this could be a good time to get a bargain.
7. How will you help me during and after the sale?
Always do your best to become friends with the salesperson. In most dealerships it will be them that has to negotiate with the manager on your behalf, and if they like you then they’ll want to help you get the right deal. Be careful about what you say to them and don’t be too enthusiastic too soon as this can weaken your negotiating power. But make it clear that you are the ideal customer and are looking for an ongoing professional relationship during and after the sales process.
8. What are the typical insurance costs for this car?
Do research the typical insurance costs for the car that you are buying to make sure that you can afford the car insurance on your ideal car before you start the buying process. This could otherwise be a last-minute obstacle to you buying the car.
Also research extra insurance add-ons that the dealer is likely to mention to you – for example GAP insurance, wheel and tyre insurance, extended warranty and service plans. Remember that you don’t have to accept any of these if you don’t want to: but if you are interested then make sure you have checked prices from other insurers so that you can get the best combinations of insurance that meet your needs.
9. What extras could I have with this car?
It’s always great to get extras with your car and they can make you feel really positive about the deal. But bear in mind that nothing is ever free. Make sure you agree a good price on the car itself first before extras are even discussed. Be aware that extras have a knock-on cost to the salesman so would weaken your negotiating power on the price. So get the car price agreed before you start thinking about extras.
Also if you do either pay for or are given extras then make sure they are actually there when you collect your car. It is easy for them to be overlooked by a busy dealer so make sure you know what extras should be provided and test them out before driving the car away.
10. Do you really need a new car?
Last but by no means least: a question you should really ask yourself before even starting the above process. Do you definitely need a new car? Think realistically about how much you use your car and whether a new car would be a wise investment and something that you actually need, or whether you might be better to spend your money on something else altogether? If you’re still keen why not check out our previous article on which cars hold their value.
…But before you do, you should be aware that with Logbook Loans you can use your existing car as security for a loan. So if part of the reason you are considering changing cars is to try and sort out your finances then why not have a look at how a logbook loan could help? It would release some instant cash to you, and this could work out better for you financially than getting a new car and taking on either a new loan or PCP finance for that.
So why not check out how Logbook Loans may be able to help you sort out your finances this spring.