Buying a new car this year? You’re not alone. We Brits can’t stop buying them – in February 2016, 83,395 cars were registered in the UK, an 8.4% jump on 2015 and the strongest February in more than a decade.
It’s no wonder sales are so strong when you see the number of great deals out there – many of them fuelled by historically low interest rates. But buying a new car isn’t always the easiest of processes. There’s a lot to think about: how to negotiate with the salesman, what to keep an eye out for on the test drive, and, perhaps most difficult of all, how to haggle and get the deal done.
Thankfully, help is at hand. The folk over at car experts Parkers have developed a comprehensive guide to buying a new car – this walk-through interactive guide helps you through the process of buying a new motor.
Let’s look at the three main car-buying stages: hitting the showroom, test-driving a car and doing the deal – and see what should be on your radar. We’ll help you get a great car and a great deal too.
What should you think about?
Give the showroom a ring before going in
That way, you can make sure they’ve got the car you’re interested in looking at (to save you a wasted trip), but it also sets out your intentions – that you’re a serious car buyer, you’re on your way in – and they better be ready!
Listen to what’s being said
Remember that while car salespeople aren’t children of the devil as some would have them, they’ve got a job to do – secure a deal that benefits the dealership and hopefully gets them a commission. You’re there to get the best deal for you, so watch out for any tactics. If you’re asked: ‘What sort of budget are you looking at?’ they’re trying to find out how much you’ve got to spend. Keep your cards close to your chest.
You can go elsewhere
If you’re not getting good service and feel you’re being asked a lot of tactical questions, you may be pressured into buying. Remember it really isn’t worth the hassle. There are lots of other car dealers out there – why not hop across the road and try a competitor out?
Out on the test drive
One of the most important parts of the car-buying process. What should you look for?
Take along your golf clubs, luggage bags, suit carrier and kitchen sink
Basically, if you’ll be regularly carrying large items in your new motor, take them along with you so you can make sure they’ll fit nice and snug. Especially things like child seats or bulky sports gear.
Okay, we don’t mean turning the lights off and dashing off into the nearest woodland. But make sure you drive on different road types to get a feel for how the car handles. Best of all is to stick to roads you know well, to judge how the car rides compared with your current model.
If you have children, take them with you
If you have kids, you’ll know all too well that driving with the family is a completely different experience to driving solo. So take them along with you for the ride. Do they fit? Can they see out?
How best to get the deal done?
Take a friend with you
Asking a pal to come along for the deal stage of the process is a good idea – they’ll act as a useful sounding board. Plus, they’re likely to be less emotionally invested than you are, so they’ll help you keep things in perspective.
Sleep on it
If you feel you’re being pushed to sign-off on a deal and you haven’t quite decided, don’t be afraid to ask for some time to think about it. Sleep on it if you want to. It’s important you’re completely committed. Don’t feel pressured to make a decision there and then.
Use open questions
Using open questions, direct the conversation with the salesperson and let them do the hard work. Asking things like: ‘What’s the best price you can do?’ means they do the talking.
Looking for more tips? Check out the Parkers guide right now.
Featured photo credit: © Greg Gjerdingen via flickr.com