10 things you should know before buying a car

Buying your first car can be a daunting experience and is never something that should be done on a whim. It is an expensive purchase and it requires a lot of thought before you make a huge decision and hand over the cash. There are many things you should think about first. Here are ten things you should know before owning a car.

Your budget

This is the first step: figure out your budget. You may really want that expensive new car but simply can’t afford it. When looking at your money, you need to think about the various ways to finance a car. If you have cash to hand, you could look into a finance deal and make a large down payment and have lower payments throughout the upcoming months. Alternatively, you may need to save up for a little longer to get the sort of car that suits your needs.

Research brands and dealers

The more you know about a brand of car and the dealers, the more information you will have when it comes to negotiations. Look into car prices and compare between models and brands – this way, you can get a variety of quotes before spending any money.

How much your insurance will cost

The type of car you choose will have an impact on the cost of your insurance. Research this first before making a decision on your car – you may be surprised at how expensive it is to insure certain models.

There are three main types of car insurance to choose from:

  • Third party – This pays out for injuries and damages to another driver’s car in the event of an accident.
  • Third party and theft – This will cover you for all the things third party does, as well as fire and theft.
  • Fully comprehensive – This will keep you covered for all of the above, as well as paying out for damages caused to your own car.

There is also an additional car insurance policy that you might not know much about – telematics insurance. This particular car insurance measures how well you drive using a black box that is fitted into your car. Your premiums are then based upon how safe your driving is instead of the insurer’s expectations of your driving.

Determine your needs

You need to consider what type of car you should buy based on your needs. If you have children, you need a car to accommodate a family or, if it’s just you, something small may be best. Write down a list of features that you would like your car to have and figure out how often and where you will be driving. These are the important factors that will determine the type of vehicle you should be buying.

Check everything works

If you are buying a car privately, many people sell them as seen, so make sure you check everything works correctly. Check the tyres, air conditioning, heating, stereo, lights, signals, engine and locks. Never agree or settle for anything you are unhappy with.

Check your credit score

If you are considering financing a car, you should know your credit score. Having a good idea of your credit report and score and the interest rates can help you get the best deal. If you are unsure how to do this, take a look at this guide by Which.

Know your rights

If you are buying a new or used car, you have rights and need to take the time to get yourself familiar with the warranty package and the return policies. Ask the car dealer to talk you through everything and make sure you keep any paperwork in a safe place.

Concentrate on finding a good car, not a good deal

Deals are great if you want to save a big amount of money, but don’t get caught up in finding a bargain that ends up not being what you want – and further down the line may end up costing you money because things keep breaking or going wrong on the car.

Test drive at night time

If you are buying a car, test drive it at night. Driving in the dark is completely different to the daytime and will give you an opportunity to make sure that important features such as the car lights are working. Plus, it will draw your attention towards the dash and its interior features, allowing you to decide whether or not you like it.

Know the fuel efficiency

You want to know what the car’s fuel economy is in miles per gallon so you know what to expect at the pump. This can also help you compare fuel prices and efficiency with other cars, which might help sway your decision when it comes to choosing your car.

Hopefully, you have a better idea of what to expect when buying your first car, and you can now do it with the confidence to find what’s best for you.

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