Collaborative Post¦ Buying a new car is exciting, even a used one. Most of us are in the market for a new car because we need one. And so this purchase means something more than spending money on something new. It’s a chance for freedom and independence. Your car means that you can visit places more easily, enjoy holidays more cheaply, and work in alternate locations without worrying as much about your commute.
Whether it is your first car or your tenth, it’s a big commitment, and certainly, one that you want to get right. Fail to find the right used car, and you could spend much more than you’ve expected on repairs, find yourself broken down far from home, or just with a car that you don’t love, aren’t comfortable in, and just doesn’t feel right.
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You can pick up a used car relatively cheaply. But, this isn’t often the right decision. In most cases, it’s more important to spend what you can afford and to weigh up the balance between upfront and long-term costs.
Consider maintenance carefully. The cheapest car on the lot might be 15-20 years old, it could have 200000 miles on the clock, and it might already need a lot of work. A newer used car could cost far less in repairs going forward.
Older cars often cost a lot more to run, with weaker fuel economy. If you can afford it, a hybrid car has significantly less running costs and can save you money in the long run.
Older cars are more likely to be involved in accidents, and so the insurance costs can be higher. Compare these before committing to a purchase.
The big one, perhaps, is how long your car is likely to last. You don’t want to be spending £1000 every other year when you could spend £3000 and have a car that lasts for ten years.
A good used car dealer will be happy to show you the car, answer your questions, go through the service history and even let you take a test drive. Spend time looking under the hood (take someone more experienced if you are unsure what to look out for) and for apparent signs of damage to the outside and the cabin.
When looking for damage and at the service history, take into account the age of the car, and the number of previous owners, and give leeway for natural wear and tear. But don’t be scared to ask questions if something is worrying you.
These considerations can help you to find a vehicle that is cost-effective and safe. But, that still doesn’t mean that it will be the right car for you. Take some time before you even start to look and think about what you need from a vehicle. Ask yourself how much you are likely to drive, if most of your trips will be in the city, or if you will drive more rurally. Think about how many people need to sit in it comfortably, how much space you need in the trunk, and the need for car seats. You may find it helpful to write yourself a list to take to viewings with you.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
Welcome to my blog! I'm Laura, a 29 year old mum of two. I live in Kent with my high school sweetheart husband Dave, our daughter Autumn and newborn son Reuben.
I write about my experiences of parenting, as well as my plethora of interests including fashion, beauty, cars, weddings, mental health and the home.