What to Look for When Buying a New Car

What to Look for When Buying a New Car
Image by Ulrich Dregler from Pixabay

No matter what type of car you are buying, how old it is, whether it has already been previously owned, or how much money you are spending, there are some simple things you should look for when buying any car.

From some basic exterior checks to the logbook and paperwork, and what the gauges can tell you, there are some things anyone should be aware of before buying any new car. Here is our guide to the most important things to know.

Do You Really Need a New Car?

This is the first question you should ask yourself, and when you have your answer, it should help you be a more confident buyer when the time comes to take some test drives and negotiate a deal.

Most new cars will lose some value at almost the moment you buy them. This is unavoidable as a new car will always have more value than a second-hand vehicle, even if it has only been driven a few miles. When deciding if you really need a new car, you should bear this in mind as a car will generally only depreciate as an investment

A car is more than a financial investment, however, and you need to find a vehicle that balances this depreciation with your needs and expectations. This will help you decide what ‘must-have’ features and attributes your car needs to make the financial commitment worthwhile to you. Look for cars that tick all of your boxes so you are not spending money, and losing money, on a vehicle that doesn’t suit all of your needs.

Some Car Models Will Hold Their Value

All car makes and models depreciate at different rates, and there are some types of cars that manage to hold their value and give you the chance to get most of your money back when you decide to sell them later.

This can be difficult to predict outside of classic and vintage vehicles, but there are some cars that are holding their value in the second-hand market place and means driving them will cost you less money over the course of your ownership. Electric vehicles, and particularly Tesla vehicles, are proving to hold their value well. 

Little was known about the durability of electric vehicles, especially their battery packs when they first hit the market. Now people are much more confident about their durability and this has led to a rise in demand for second-hand electric vehicles that have kept the prices up even after thousands of miles of use. Look at the second-hand market to spot car models that are holding their value well so you don’t lose money in the long-term.

Buy the Right Car at the Right Time

Timing is everything, so it is said, and this is true for buying cars too. Dealerships have targets to hit in order to receive bonuses and these are taken quarterly.

When a dealership is approaching the end of the business quarter, in late March, June, September, and December, they will often feel under pressure to make sales in order to hit their targets and will often offer attractive deals and finance packages on cars sold at these times in order to get their bonuses from manufacturers and wholesalers. This makes the end of the quarter the best time to buy a new car, as dealers will often accept low-end offers on cars to make the sale. Look for special deals at local dealerships at these times of the year. Also, remember about having a good credit score. If you credit score is not high enough you can always repair with a credit repair company.

Even on a New Car, You Should ‘Kick the Tires’

New cars may only have ten or so miles on their odometers, but they can still have problems that need to be addressed or manufacturing errors that can impact their usability.

You should look at a new car the same way you would look at a used vehicle. Just because it is factory fresh with that new car smell, doesn’t mean it is in perfect condition. Inspect the tires and tailpipe to look for damage that may have been caused when the car was delivered to the dealer. Cars that are taken on regular test drives can often have damaged, scuffed, or marked interiors and these small imperfections should affect its sticker price. The dealer may be hoping you don’t notice. 

You should also take any car out for a test drive before buying. With a new car, you want to get a feel for its driving characteristics, but you should also be listening for any knocks or squeaks from the engine or brakes, as well as wind noise. You should never buy a car from a dealer without having small problems like squeaking brakes or engine knocks addressed, as these problems can grow into expensive repairs.

Owning a new car is a dream for many drivers, but any dream can quickly become a nightmare. Hopefully, this guide will help you get a great new car, and at a great price too.