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How To Buy A Car

When you come to buy your next car, one of the most important decisions is whether to go for a brand new model or one that’s already been used. We have a wealth of experience in buying and selling cars, so we’ve created an overview of what to consider when buying both new and used vehicles.

New cars

New cars are usually more expensive than used models because they are more advanced and you can choose the exact specification you would like. However, they are typically cheaper and easier to run.

When you buy a brand new car, it will come with a manufacturer-backed warranty for extra peace of mind and you won’t have to get an MOT for three years. Car tax is also usually lower, because newer cars tend to have lower CO2 emissions, though insurance can be higher depending on the model that you’ve chosen.

New cars do lose their value much quicker than used models, with the first three years seeing the largest value deprecation. If you are buying a new car, it’s often advisable to have the car for three years before selling it on. Or, you could opt to lease a car from a dealership and hand it back at the end of the contract.

Most dealerships offer finance plans that spread the cost over a series of payments. They can cost more in the long run, but they do make it much easier to budget for your car. Or, you could consider a private loan which could be more flexible.

Got your heart set on a new car? Here’s what you should consider and check before handing over any money.

Always check how much it will cost to insure and tax the car first and make sure you can afford all the features you would like.

Make sure you have checked the warranty thoroughly so you know exactly what is covered, and arrange a method of collection before paying any money.

If you are buying the car privately, try to spend some time with the seller going over the controls so you can drive away happy.

Used cars

You can usually expect to pay less for used car, but it can end up swallowing more of your money if the car you buy isn’t in good condition. When you find a new car that you would like to buy, make sure you see it in person beforehand, preferably in daylight and always with a friend or relative. Check the car inside and out, making sure that the warning lights work, the tyres have at least 1.6mm of tread and the exhaust is free from smoke. It’s worth being wary of any rust or inconsistencies in the paintwork, which could mean it has been repaired following an accident. Also pay attention to the mileage – it should match the age of the car, and most people drive approximately 10,000 miles a year. If it’s much more, query this with the owner.

It’s advised that you test drive the car. Sometimes the owner or someone from the dealership will want to accompany you. During the drive, test the brakes and make sure the steering and gears feel smooth.

Once you are happy to go ahead with the purchase, make sure you check all of the essential documents. Every used car should have a log book, an MOT certificate and V5C registration – all of which must be original.

Start searching

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a new or used car, AutoVolo can help. Search for your next car today, or discover how easy it is to list a vehicle on our website.