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Top tips for buying your next car

For many of us, having a car is a necessity. It’s a place where we spend a huge portion of our day, whether it's driving to and from work, collecting kids from school, or running household errands. This means we need a machine that is reliable, cost effective, and efficient.

The process of buying a one, however, can be a bit of a minefield, but here are a few simple things to keep in mind when you’re thinking about purchasing.

1. Try second hand

Second-hand cars tend to be much cheaper than brand new ones.

If you’re not too worried about having a car that’s one or two years old you can really save yourself some money by buying a slightly older model. You can get good deals on second-hand cars if you go to a reputable vendor or find a private seller.

In addition, if the car is only one or two years old then it most likely won’t come with the mileage and wear and tear of a much older model. It will also be within the three-year MOT grace period, meaning that you won’t need to pay for one straight away. All these factors mean you have almost all the benefits of a new car, without having lost thousands of pounds in its value just because you drove it brand new off the forecourt.

2. Loan or hire?

Getting a personal loan from the bank can be much cheaper than getting a hire purchase agreement.

For a remarkably small upfront cost, you can drive away in a brand new car as soon as your credit is approved. The monthly costs can be very reasonable, and you don’t need to worry about how much value your car loses because it’s not yours. However, it's worth remembering that all the money is going on hire alone; at the end of the term the car will still not be yours. You also need to be careful about how and where you drive it. Most companies, although their rates seem good, will charge you a hefty sum if you go over the agreed mileage amount, or could make you pay for minor repairs when you return it to them if it’s not in a good resale condition.

In contrast, taking out a personal loan means you are actually buying the car outright. That means that when you are finished with it, you have the right to change it, modify it, sell it, and take the profits for yourself. By getting a loan through your bank you can agree with them the loan amount, the repayment schedule, and the length of the loan. You also potentially have the flexibility to alter the loan at a later date. This means you can either add it onto another personal loan or increase the amount you want to borrow. It’s flexible and an easy to understand a way of buying a car.

3. Go small

Smaller engines and smaller cars tend to be cheaper to insure.

IConsider why you need a cari nthe first place. Will you be doing a lot of long distance driving, or do oyu only need something to get you to work and back? Cars with a 1.2l engine are substantially cheaper to insure than even those with a 1.6l or 2.0l engine. They also tend to be more cost efficient on petrol. If you are all about the city and driving on easy roads then consider looking at a smaller car with a smaller engine. They’re also easier to park in those tight spaces!

Finally, no matter what choice you make about your car; old, new, yours, or leased, the thing that matters most is getting a deal that’s right for you and making sure you read the Terms and Conditions of any contract you sign!

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