Top tips for buying a new or used car

Whether you are buying a new or used car this year there are a few common sense tips we all should keep in mind.

Saving for A Car

It’s safe to say that when it comes to buying a new or used car, buyers fall into two categories. There are those that can’t put off buying a car any longer and those that have been biding their time, getting ready for their dream purchase.
No matter what type of buyer you are, purchasing a car takes a lot of effort and a great deal of planning. Luckily, there are several helpful tips that can make the whole process easier.

Buy a Car That You Can Afford

We all have a little daydream when we see the latest Mercedes cruise past us on the street, but the truth of the matter is that not all of us can afford a brand-new car. Thankfully, you don’t always need one either! The second-hand car market has successfully served the needs of motorists for decades and offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a sizeable family vehicle or a small reliable runner that gets you to the office, there’s something for you.
Research the various online sites and get an idea of the typical price for the age and model of the car you are looking for. Walk around a few dealerships and see if anything catches your eye, but treat theses visits as reconnaissance missions and not shopping trips.

Calculate all Costs

As we all know, the sticker price only says so much about what a car will cost you. When you decide on the model you want, start your additional research on the cost of insurance, road tax, Vehicle Registration Tax (if you are importing from the UK), fuel consumption as well as the cost of ongoing servicing and maintenance (including the cost of ad-hoc parts due to wear & tear, and tyres of course).
The combined total of these costs will give you an idea of the month-to-month cost of running your desired vehicle. If you are not paying cash you will also need to factor in the monthly finance cost, whether it’s a personal loan or some form of asset finance such as HP or PCP.

Loans, or Lump Sums?

There are several finance options available when buying a car and naturally the ‘right option’ will differ from deal to deal. If you would rather use your savings to pay the full amount of the car, do so if it suits you. Otherwise consider car loans, credit union loans and the various finance deals offered by the dealership or garage.
If you can buy a new car you should look out for any scrappage deals you can get when you trade in your new vehicle. Especially if your own car is nearing the end of its useful life and won’t be worth much on the open market this could knock thousands of the price as well as saving you time trying to sell or dispose of it privately.

When Do You Want/Need the Car?

If you can put off buying the car for a year or so, and put by some money each month it will help you offset the price of the car when the time comes. If your need is urgent, it’s time to start talking to your bank or credit union about what you need to start doing now to qualify for a loan.

Learn to Negotiate

Negotiation doesn’t come easy to everyone, but if you give it a try you could see your costs greatly reduced. Go in with a fixed budget and, if you feel that the price is climbing, remind the dealer that “I can’t go above this amount”. If you aren’t a very car savvy person, then it would be helpful to take someone along with you who knows their cars well. Perhaps you know a mechanic or have a family member who is a car enthusiast?
If you don’t, then think about all of the questions you should be asking about the car in advance, write them down and bring them with you when you are viewing the car. More often than not your emotions take over when you find the car of your dreams so it always helps to have a few logical questions written down.
Remember that you don’t have to commit to anything in an instant. Do the research, take your time and purchase only when you are ready. The car is going to be with you for a long time so it’s important to be certain that you are getting what you want. Find out more simple ways to save when buying your next car.

You can kick-start your new year saving plan with €100 from Zurich

Want to give your savings a big kick-start? Start a LifeSave Savings plan with Zurich Life and they will gift you a €100 contribution to your new savings plan. Offer starts January 16th and runs until March 31st. Terms and conditions apply.
Zurich also has a handy budget and savings calculator to help you get to grips with your monthly incomings and outgoings and see where your biggest savings can be made this year.