The family needs a car and, as the dad of the bunch, you’re probably going to be the one responsible for making the choice. It’s a choice that comes with a lot of responsibility, too. A bad deal can take a much bigger bite of your budget than you might anticipate, so here’s how to be real savvy about it and ensure you get your money’s worth.
Will the old motor offer any help?
While you can’t expect a fortune off your old car, that doesn’t mean that it’s useless. Even a couple hundred quid extra can help make your costs more manageable. If you’re selling your old car, sell it on the private market where buyers don’t have the profitability of a mark-up to consider. If it’s really beyond the standards of even private buyers, you can still look at scrap yards and junk car buyers to at least get something out of it. It’s not going to be much, ultimately, but it’s better than nothing.
What’s your credit saying?
How much you pay for your car isn’t solely influenced by the sticker price, but also by how you’re paying for it. Most dealerships you visit are going to offer some kind of financing deal, but you shouldn’t simply take what you’re given. You should also look at some of the personal loans on offer at Money Saving Expert and see how they compare. The better your credit is, the lower an interest rate you can expect, as well as some flexibility on the length of the repayment period.
Have you checked the used market?
It’s a tip that bears repeating: the used car market is worth your attention. A lot of buyers will believe the worst about used cars, thinking they’ll fall apart as soon as they leave the dealership. However, so long as you buy away from the private market, that’s not much of a concern. Dealers like Hilton Garage ensure their vehicles are in working order and provide warranties to reduce the risk. Add to that the greatly reduced price thanks to depreciation and it just tends to be a better deal most of the time.
Do you really know the costs?
Naturally, the costs of your monthly payments come down to a lot more than just the loan repayments themselves. You should also factor in the cost-effectiveness of each model. It’s easy to find the MPG for every car you look at and use it to do some math based on your driving habits to see likely fuel costs. However, the Reliability Index can also give you a better idea of whether you’re likely to need to pay more in maintenance, repair and replacement funds, as well. Always choose a reliable car if you’re keeping your bank balance in mind.
Beyond the tips above, don’t forget that the long-term care for your car will factor into how much it costs you along the way. Learning a little car DIY can stop you from relying on the garage so much, helping you cut costs tremendously.