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Published on February 20th, 2019 | by Jones


Top car buying tips for the new year

The first few months of the new year are often the time when we make significant changes to our lives. And it is also the time when people are looking for new cars and applying for finance or loans.

If you have applied for vehicle finance then you have taken the first step. And if you are sitting in front of your computer, asking yourself “Do I qualify for vehicle finance?”, there is hope on the horizon. You can follow some simple advice and tips for buying a car in the new year.

Start by building a budget

Creating a budget for buying a car should be the first step you take. Start by listing all of your current expenses and any monthly instalments you are currently making, such as repaying a personal loan or rental costs for your apartment. The money left over is likely what you can use on car repayments.

Your car budget should include all possible costs involved with purchasing a car such as fuel, insurance costs, maintenance expenses and any repairs that might occur. This will provide you with a fuller picture of how much money you have to work with when applying for vehicle finance options. You can use the calculations made on calculators offered online or draw up your own spreadsheet to track your expenses. Your budget should be realistic and based on what your goals are for your car, such as daily transport or long road trips.

Don’t forget to research

At the beginning of a new year, car manufacturers are rolling out new models and car dealerships are trying to move their old stock to make room for new items. This means that you will need to do your research on what models will be available at this time, as the models from the previous year or old stock might be sold at more affordable prices.

You can do extensive research into which make and model is best suited to your needs and if there are any that match your budget. If you have been pre-approved for vehicle finance, then this research is vital as your lender will need to know what car you are interested in buying. You can easily find out the market value of the car you are looking for online and see if the dealership is offering you the best deal possible. You can also speak to different dealerships and ask for quotes on the car you have your eye on.

Make sure you understand your contract

You might think that your car loan contract is an amazing deal, but you will need to look at the terms and conditions of your contract completely so that you do not end paying more than you can afford or more than you thought you would be paying. For example, you should understand what a fixed and linked interest rate are.

If you have opted for a balloon payment, you should discuss these terms with your lender and be sure that you have paid an amount that you can afford to repay once your loan is over. Remember that sometimes, the rates quoted are guidelines, and your contract might stipulate different rates. Be sure to ask your lender for help and explanations about anything you do not understand. You should also structure your contract so that at the time of finalising, you have something in place that is beneficial for both you and your lender.

Ask about value-adding products

There are several products that you can opt for when buying a new car that will add value to your purchase. For example, you could look into an insurance product that allows you to claim for paint chip repair and small dents, or one that offers claims for tyres and tyre accessory claims.

It is important to note that these value-added products should only be used to supplement your insurance and not replace it. You still need to have car insurance in place to protect your car. You could also look for insurance that offers roadside assistance and car hire in case your car is stolen and you need transport.

At the start of the year, you will have no idea what is just around the corner, so it is important to ensure that you are covered for every eventuality. And having these products can help you to do this.

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A keen writer, giving advice about work and life.

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