4 Things to Consider When Buying a Car

Motoring expenses rank highly among personal spending obligations. Beyond the price you pay for a car, you’re also on the hook for related expenses, such as car cover, maintenance, parking fees, and a number of other motoring costs. Despite the substantial price of personal transportation, most busy British families are willing to trade the expense for the convenience of having cars at their disposal. The alternatives, public transport and sharing rides, aren’t good matches for hectic modern lifestyles, so keeping a car becomes a financial priority in most households.

If you plan to keep a car, you can’t sidestep motoring costs – the price of petrol doesn’t bend to your will. So with assorted car costs tugging at your budget, it’s important to protect yourself from unnecessary spending, whenever possible. Starting with a dependable car will help keep you on the motorways, without devastating your motoring budget.

Whether you’re in the market for a brand new car or you’re buying a lightly used model, there are several things you should consider, before making costly commitments to the dealer or finance company.

Consumer Ratings and Reviews

Buying a brand new car will set you back a substantial amount, but it should serve you well, without the added cost of repairs. Models frequently change, as car makers add new features and the latest technology to their vehicles. Before settling on a car to buy, it makes financial sense to review several current-year models and to consider ratings and reviews for at least a few of your favourite new car options.

Certified Preowned Alternatives

Some car makers offer resale programmes, selling preowned cars that have been checked-out by qualified mechanics. Certified preowned cars present a great buying alternative for shoppers priced out of the new car market, yet seeking some assurances as to the quality and condition of cars within their price range.

Each programme has its own rules and requirements, but most of the cars offered for sale have undergone extensive assessments, leading to repairs, when problems are found. You may pay a little more for a certified preowned car, but the sale price often includes a warranty or other safeguards you wouldn’t receive from a private sale or standard used car purchase. And since some of the cars come from expired lease contracts, many are made available with lower mileage than cars without certified preowned status.

Resale Value

One of the drawbacks of buying a new car is the rapid onset of depreciation. Cars lose a substantial share of their value during the first few years of ownership, so late-model used cars sometimes present better values. Whichever path you choose, tracking resale value can help you make an informed purchase.

Certain cars retain higher resale values than their less sought-after counterparts. In most cases, they hold value because they are known to provide trouble-free service, over an extended period of time. Under other circumstances, some cars don’t depreciate as rapidly, because they are scarce or coveted by motorists, willing to pay extra for particular models.


There are several ways to finance a car purchase. If you’re buying a used car and need fast cash, for a short period of time, UK payday lenders provide affordable financing, without a lengthy application process. On the other hand, if you’re biting-off a more substantial sum to close the deal, car loans are available directly from the dealer, or from the car finance company of your choice.

Your existing banking relationships can help you land affordable car finance rates, provided your credit record is free of delinquency and default. Though it presents an easy option, don’t feel pressured to finance your car through the dealership; you may be able to get better terms on your own.

Personal transportation costs a lot of money, so you can’t afford to take your car purchase lightly. Consider these four common concerns for a seamless experience researching, selecting, and financing your next car.

Paul graduated in 2001 with a degree in Finance. Since then he has gone on to work for several of the UK's most well-known financial institutions.

An avid blogger and a huge football fan, Paul is here to guide you through the ins and outs of personal finance and perhaps save you some money in the process!

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