What type of car?
The first thing to think about is the type of car you need. Are most of your driving done alone or do you need to carry passengers regularly? How much boot space do you need? Take into account not just the week’s shopping but the demands of any hobbies or pastimes you engage in.
You also need to think about what kind of driving you do. Is it mainly short journeys or do you spend a lot of time on the motorway? Do you need to tow a trailer or a caravan? All of these things will affect the type of car you need. If you do a lot of motorway driving, for example, you may find that a more powerful engine offers better economy as it won’t be working as hard.
When it comes to the economy there are other things to consider too. A diesel car will usually cost more to buy but will repay the difference in fuel bills over high mileage. You need to think about other running costs too, such as road tax, insurance, and servicing bills. Buying an older car may save you money today but cost more in repairs over time. It’s also worth considering resale value. How much will the car be worth when you want to sell it?
Most people will buy cars either from a private seller or from a dealer. In either case, you need to check the car’s condition and history and take it for a test drive. If buying privately, make sure you’re insured for this. If you don’t feel confident checking the car yourself, take along someone who knows about cars or pay for an independent inspection. Even if there are no major faults, this may help you to negotiate a better deal.
It’s also worth shopping around and not buying the first car you see. If shopping for the used cars Dundee has to offer, for example, make a shortlist of the ones that meet your needs and look at all of them. When you’re buying second-hand remember that things such as color and trim are less important than the overall condition of the car. Higher mileage isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the car has been well looked after.
If you intend to trade your old car in, make sure you know what it’s worth using one of the printed or online price guides.
Provided you do your homework, buying a car should be a pleasurable experience. If you know what you want and are well prepared, you can be sure you’ll end up with a car that will give you many years of safe and happy motoring.