Test drives

Take advantage of free test drives (some dealers let you test drive a car over 48 hours). Key points to look out for include:

  • comfort of the seating position;
  • all-round visibility;
  • road handling and braking;
  • seat belts working.

Agreeing the deal

Don't be afraid to haggle. Discounts are often available, particularly on the less popular models, but it is up to you to get the price down as much as you can. You may be able to get a bigger discount if you pay by cash, but you may also be able to negotiate a discount if you arrange credit through the dealer. None of your legal rights are affected if you buy at a discount.

If you are trading in your old car, make sure you know what it is worth. And make sure you are being quoted the on-the-road price which includes VAT, number plates, delivery charges and road tax.

If you are willing to buy 'off the shelf', without optional extras which might include electric windows or metallic paint, you are more likely to get a better discount. You need to make sure you know what items are offered as optional extras and what are included as standard on the car.

Some dealers offer special incentives to persuade you to buy such as a year's insurance or extended warranties. Some are also willing to replace or offer refunds on new cars provided they are returned within a certain time or mileage limit. You will need to consider how much these offers are worth to you.

Before you sign

Before you commit to buying the car, understand fully the conditions of sale, the trade-in price on your existing car and any finance agreement including deposit terms and interest charge.

If you are not clear about any part of the deal, ask for an explanation. Get it in writing if you are still not happy. Once everything has been discussed, do not be afraid to say you want time to think about it or to walk away if the deal is not right for you. 

http://www.oft.gov.uk/Consumer/Your+Rights+When+ Shopping/Cars/Cars+new+getting+a+good+deal.ht