There are few feelings quite like being able to get behind the wheel of that car you’ve had your eye on for months or even years, for a great price.
Many of us depend on a set of wheels for work and/or personal purposes. However, you won’t want to feel ripped off or have to fork out more than you’re comfortable with or can manage on a month-by-month basis.
So, here are some great ways to clinch the right deal for the car you want.
Prioritise needs over wants
Sure, in a complete money-no-object situation, perhaps you’d have the luxury of buying exactly the car you’ve always dreamed of, and maybe even another car for day-to-day practical purposes.
But most of us aren’t in that situation. So, focus on what you need first. Ask yourself, for instance, whether you really need a brand new car, rather than a better-value used alternative. After all, according to MoneySavingExpert, a new car typically loses nearly half of its value in the first three years.
Consider the next model down from your ‘dream’ car
Continuing the above theme, if possible, try to strike a nice balance between your needs and wants, by considering downsizing to the next obvious model. Do you really need a BMW 5 Series if a well-specified 3 Series would serve you just fine? Maybe you were initially going to get a Golf, but have since spotted a Polo that caters to 80% of your most pressing priorities for a lot less?
‘Dropping down one’ from the model you might have originally targeted doesn’t just save money on the upfront price of a car. That’s because smaller (and smaller-engined!) cars also usually cost less on an ongoing basis, not least due to better fuel economy.
Buy when the car is in less demand
You know that time-honoured money-saving tip of buying your Christmas gift wrapping for the following December in the January sales, rather than in those few urgent days before Christmas Eve? Well, you can apply similar logic to car purchases.
If you fancy a convertible, for example, wait until the colder and rainier months to make your move. Conversely, those in the market for a four-wheel-drive car might be best-served approaching dealerships in the summer.
Haggle… but with a plan
Obviously, if you buy your new motor online, there isn’t much opportunity for old-fashioned haggling. But if you do come face-to-face with a dealer, they’ll almost expect you to haggle at least a bit – it’s something of a ‘no no’ to pay a car’s list price at a brick-and-mortar dealership.
A common ‘beginner’ haggling tip is to get the dealer to throw in something for free, such as a sat nav or floor mats. Meanwhile, more confident and experienced hagglers may like the idea of getting offers from multiple dealers and playing them off against each other to land the best price. You could even do an online search here to compare prices against each other. This is useful for finding out what a car is really worth, meaning you’ll be more aware and less likely to be ripped off.
Whether you’re a novice, intermediate or advanced haggler, do at least have a plan. Research price ranges for the given car for different mileages, and have a set price that you refuse to go over.
If you need finance, approach a broker
Not all of us have the money to pay for a new car sitting in our bank accounts. So if you do need to borrow, consider a personal loan from your bank or building society – ensuring it is not secured against your house, given that this would put your home at risk if you fell behind with repayments.
Alternatively, look to a car finance broker, which doesn’t lend you the money directly, but instead calls upon a panel of lenders to present you with the most competitive finance deal for your situation. CarFinanceGenie, for example, is a trusted provider of car finance in Essex even among those who have poor credit and might have been turned down elsewhere.
There you go – just five great ways to spend less on your next vehicle, so that you end up with a car you can be proud of, without being pushed dangerously into the red.