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Buying a new car

Buying new

When you buy new, you can often choose the exact specifications you want. The car you choose could be more fuel efficient and have the latest safety features. There’s also no unknown history to worry about.

The down side is that it could cost you more and it will start depreciating as soon as you take ownership.

The most important thing for you to do is research well before you actually go to buy the car you want. The more research you do, the more knowledge you’ll have. And we all know that knowledge is power!

Getting your timing right

Another important thing you need to be aware of when you’re thinking of buying a new car is timing as there’s more than one timescale you need to be aware of. The closer to the new number plates coming out, the better chance you could have of driving a bargain. The closer to the end of the dealer’s monthly or, even better, quarterly figure’s period, the better.

Dealers have targets to hit. They often have cars that they’ve registered to gain incentives from the car manufacturers and these cars can offer you a great bargain.

The more you know the better deal you should be able to secure.

Know the price

It seems simple, but a little research before you go to have a look on a forecourt could really pay dividends. Look at professional valuation sites like Glass’s Guide (, or What Car? (, or Parkers ( They’ll show you what you can expect to pay and allow you to compare deals on extra specifications that are currently available.

Know your adversary

When in discussions with a salesperson, avoid letting them know exactly how much money you have. If you have cash, don’t tell them this at the start. Car salespeople make more money on finance, so they might be less likely to break out the discounts if they know you’re a cash customer.

Be aware of the impact of what you say and remain positive. Try asking, “How much discount can you give me?” rather than “Will you offer me a discount?”

Know the true cost

There are websites that could help you see the hidden costs of buying a new car. Things like depreciation can ‘add’ thousands to the cost of owning a car. But few people actually factor this in when looking at the ‘cost’ of a new car.

The What Car? website has a calculator that lets you see the depreciation cost of your proposed new car.

There are a huge number of things that affect a car’s depreciation. Make sure you do your research here to know how much it will really cost you to own your next car.

Have a realistic budget

Know how much you can afford before you go anywhere near a new car. It can be tempting to think that it’s only a little bit more than you want to pay, but you could certainly live to regret over-stretching yourself. Decide on how much you can afford to spend and stick to it.

The internet

You can see how much your ideal car is being sold for at dealerships across the country. Find the best price and see if your preferred local dealer can match it. At the very least it shows the salesman that you’ve done your homework.

Maximising the value of your current car

If you sell your current car privately you could increase the chances of getting the best price for it. However, part exchange is often an easier way to dispose of your car. Part exchange is likely to result in a lower price than selling the car outright. It’s a simple trade off – ease versus maximum price.

Investigate finance before you arrive at the dealership

You don’t want to find yourself paying over the odds for your finance deal. So make sure you know the best deal before you go to the dealership. If you’re thinking of using a loan to finance your new car, you could have a look for online calculators.

Never appear to be in a rush to close the deal

Its sounds easy, but it’s harder to maintain when you really want to buy your dream car: always leave yourself enough time to be able to walk away. Avoid showing how much you really want the car, or you hand the dealer an advantage.

Buy an appropriate car

If you only do a low mileage each year then a diesel car isn’t likely to be right for you. If you have three kids then a sports car probably isn't the way to go. Using common sense ensures you’ll not live to regret a decision made on the spur of the moment.

Go for a test drive

Even if you think you know the car you really want, go for a test drive. At best it’ll prove you’ve picked the right one. At worst it could save you spending a huge amount of money and then being very disappointed until you decide to change cars again.

Consider all the options

There can be huge savings to be found on nearly new cars. These are cars with very low mileage that will even be covered by a warranty. You might have to look a bit harder but the potential savings make this a market loved by canny buyers.

Make sure you do plenty of research and you could reap the rewards when you finally drive off the forecourt!

This article is intended as general advice only which is not intended to cover specific circumstances and needs. The information in this article is also not linked to any of the products offered by Clydesdale Bank PLC

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