Buying a new car is a unique experience. Like it or not, a new car is likely to be one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, specially now that people have so many options with all the personal car leasing. Many of us look forward to the process, but others may find it incredibly daunting, especially given the huge amount of choice that faces buyers today – even in just one manufacturer’s showroom.
Either way, Carbuyer is here to help. Here, we show you exactly what to expect, from initial choices like those between new or used, petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric power and even a choice as simple as body style. From picking the best optional extras to securing the best possible deal when the time comes, we’ve tried to cover all bases and offer guidance for every step.
Our mission is to help you find your perfect car, while answering any questions you may have about the buying and ownership process. As such, we’ve put together dedicated in-depth articles on car insurance, road tax, warranties and more, so be sure to have a look if you’d like to know more.
New or used?
Deciding to buy new or used is the first step towards buying your next car. Your budget is likely to play a big part in your decision, but it’s worth remembering that both methods have their merits. Buying new means you’ll benefit from the peace of mind of a manufacturer’s warranty, which should last for at least three years. You’ll also get to specify your car exactly to your tastes and needs, but remember that you’re almost always likely to lose more money in the long run than if you bought used, due to depreciation. If you’re thinking of buying new, our guide to the slowest depreciating cars is worth a look.
Used cars, meanwhile, have their own benefits. A used car will almost always be cheaper than its new equivalent and its first owner is likely to have taken the initial hit of depreciation so you don’t have to. A good place to start your used-car hunt is on an ‘approved’ used forecourt, where cars come with added backup from manufacturers.
Unless you’re buying an older second-hand car, you should also expect some kind of warranty, and aftermarket policies can offer extra peace of mind – though be sure to check what is and isn’t covered. Used cars that are between one and three years old can offer serious savings together with some remaining manufacturer’s warranty, while pre-registered cars offer something of a halfway house between the new and used market. What fuel you want your new car to run on should be the next aspect of your purchase to think about. While some cars are only available as diesels, such as the BMW X3, most manufacturers offer petrol and diesel engines, while hybrid and electric models are becoming increasingly common and can be an excellent choice, particularly if you do a lot of town driving.