Buying a new or used car can be complex and at times confusing, so here is a quick Checklist on what to look for and what questions to ask before making the final decision.
1. WHAT IS MY BUDGET?
This question can be looked at in two ways - how much can you afford to spend on a car and how much are your prepared to spend on a car? Ideally, you want to be able to settle on a figure that answers both of these. Once you decide on a price point, you will be able to decide if you will buy a new or used car.
2. DOES IT MEET MY NEEDS?
This may appear like a simple question, but it is in fact one of the most important questions to ask yourself when you first start looking for a car.
Start by asking yourself, what is the car’s primary purpose and which vehicle is best suited to meet your needs. If the car is merely going to be for driving from A to B, or is it a vital part of your family life that will also include driving for fun and enjoyment? Next, you need to consider what type of driving will make up the majority of its use. Long or short distances, week-end warrior driving, city or highway, family or business.
3. WHAT ARE THE SAFETY FEATURES?
Does it have driver-assist technologies?
Does it have rear vision cameras and alarms? Rear vision cameras are indispensable in helping to avoid impact when reversing. If you regularly reverse out of a driveway, this can important technology.
Does it have passenger side and rear seat airbags? If you have a family these features will be very important.
Does it offer Bluetooth / hands free phone connections or Apple Play, that connects automatically with the vehicle’s audio/entertainment system? This is pretty standard in most cars today and is a real safety feature to avoid being tempted to use your mobile when driving.
4. HOW DOES IT DRIVE?
Test driving the car may be the most important (and enjoyable) part of the car-buying process, so it is important to take your time with this next step. Be aware that a car will feel different when you first drive it, but issues such as sluggishness or unresponsiveness may indicate bigger problems with the vehicle itself. Download Test Driving a Car Checklist.
Start by sitting in the car and taking note of a few things:-
- Adjust the mirrors and check your vision. Any blind spots?
- Adjust the seat, does the driver’s seat have independent tilt adjustment?
- Does the driver’s seat have independent height adjustment?
- Are the seat adjustment controls easy to use?
- Pay attention to the sound of the engine when you turn it on. It is always best to start the car from scratch (don’t let the owner or dealer start it for you). This is particularly important for second hand cars.
How does the car drive? Does it pull to one direction or the other?
- Do the pedals lack pressure when you depress them?
- Are the pedals centrally positioned?
- Is there a left foot rest?
- Is there plenty of room for you to rest your left foot?
- Do you have a clear view of the dashboard?
- Are the gauges or dashboard lights indicating any problems?
- Are there any new noises being made by the car as you drive?
- Is the steering wheel centrally located?
- Does the steering wheel have the following adjustment features: - in/out and up/down?
What type of boot do you want- hatch or sedan?
- Does the car have adequate boot space for your needs?
- Does the boot have handles to facilitate closing?
- Is there automated boot opening and closing?
5. WHERE WILL YOU BUY IT FROM?
Most new cars are bought via licensed dealers. If you are considering used car, it is always recommended to have it looked over by a vehicle mechanic of your choice, especially if it is via a private seller. Licensed dealers are legally required to disclose any major issues with the car.
If you are consider finance for your car (new or used), a broker such as Express Fund, has the ability to leverage from their network of establish dealers and negotiate on your behalf to either get a better price or secure extra features for the vehicle. For more information on finance options contact Ben Miller here.