| 1st July 2010
You’ve packed up the family into your old faithful car and are heading over to your local car dealerships to go and look at some shiny new ones, maybe have a test drive and maybe even buy if you find the right deal for you. But have you done your research? Are you prepared for what lies in wait? Right, unpack the family and pop the kettle on; you should probably read the following guide first.Before you consider heading out to your local dealers you should probably begin by asking yourself the following questions:Q. What type of car do I/we really need? A.
This should be you’re very first consideration when considering your new car search. Take the time to look about you and ask what you need from a vehicle to fit your lifestyle as you’ll find it harder to change your lifestyle to match your vehicle than the other way around. Basically, a smart car is not going to take 4 kids to school every day, or any day for that matter.Fuel will also be an important consideration. Petrol or Diesel? Maybe even Hybrid or Electric? Find out more here.Top tip:
Once you have thought this through you are best using a car research tool where you can filter down by vehicle types, fuel types and models you may be interested in. Then get into the detail, a little digging around here will make it simpler in the long run, trust me. – Car Research Tool.Q. Have you listed what features of a car are important or even essential to you? A.
The features needed in a car differ from individual to individual but thankfully most new cars come with most of the mod cons you’ll need like CD players, Electric windows et cetera. Items like Satellite Navigation, sunroofs, front fog lights, Bluetooth connections are likely to be optional extras.Top tip:
Make a list of the options that are absolutely essential for you in a new car. Then make a list of the things you would ‘like’ but don’t ‘need’. Your new car should absolutely have the things that are essential and of it has some of the things you’d ‘like’ as standard then it’s an added bonus.Q. What is my/our realistic budget? A.
How much you’ll have to pay is going to be pretty essential information at this stage. It will effectively help you choose whether you can have the type of car you need from new or whether you’ll need to look at a used vehicle and knowing this figure will stop you from committing to a car you can’t afford.Top Tip:
Give yourself a fixed budget with no room to move and be realistic about it. It’s not worth stretching your budget initially as you can always come back to it to re-evaluate at a later date if needed.Q. Will I/we need finance? If so, how much can we realistically afford to pay? A.
As with the above you should be aware of how much you can realistically afford on a monthly basis. Once you know this, and the type of car you need, you can start matching cars when appropriate.Top Tip:
As above, give yourself a strict budget initially and then revisit it at a later date if you need to.Q. Have I/we drawn up a shortlist of models that we are interested in? A.
Once you know how much you have to pay and what models types and features you need then you can start looking at models fit the bill for you. Draw up a list of these before you head out and then find your local dealer
to see where you can test drive these at a later date. This list will guide you around much better at dealerships than just heading into dealers and being led around the plot by the sales person.Top Tip:
Start with a list of 5 models, make sure they have the features you need by visiting the manufacturers websites and make sure that the price fits within your budget.Q. Have we looked at prices for these models so we know the best deals in the market?A.
The real research starts here. Most models and manufacturers will be able to offer discounted prices and in most cases the internet is your best bet. Getting the maximum amount of quotes for these models will give you your clearest indication of what deals that you can negotiate from your local dealer.Top Tip:
Use Askaprice to get you up to 5 quotations for your chosen models. If your local dealer then doesn’t match these deals you’ll at least have a contact from a main dealer who will when you are ready to make the change – Click here to begin when you are ready – Free quotes
.Q. Do you know how much it will cost to insure, tax and run these models? A.
This is another major factor that you’ll have to take into consideration. Whilst the model you need may be affordable to buy you may find the insurance quotes, car tax costs and fuel and repair bills will be outside your monthly budget.Top Tip:
Research these issues online and ask the local dealer to verify these figures for you so that you are happy with the running costs of your new car. Links: Tax
, Insurance.Q. Are you part exchanging your current car? Do you know how much it’s worth? A.
Before you put the family in car to head to the dealership if you are part exchanging it you’ll need to have a rough figure of what you’ll expect to receive as a part exchange value for it. Be realistic but be firm when you know what you expect for it.Top Tip:
There are websites that can help – but Glass’s guide is by far the easiest. – Click here
.When you now arrive at the dealerships for test drives you will be fully armed with the information you’ll need to get the very best deals for the cars you have selected on your shortlist. Next time around we’ll discuss what to do once you are there. See you then.Andrew BeattieAskaprice.com Head of ContentFollow us on Twitter – www.twitter.com/askapriceI hope you have found this information useful and if you have any other tips you’d like to share then we’d love to hear your comments.