Thinking about a new car?

The summer is a good time to buy a new car, go cruising and enjoy the weather. Here are some tips on how to maximise your budget, work out what kind of car you really need, and where to look to help you bag a bargain.

Maximise you buying power with cash

Private sellers and commercial retailers will always want to deal in cash where at all possible. This, of course, makes sense with private sellers who won’t take kindly to you asking them for finance on their car for sale, but retailers will also be happiest with cash so as to avoid paying the fees on credit card purchases, or having to wait for car finance proposals to clear.

So, if you’ve got your budget ready to go in cold, hard cash, then your buying power and potential to haggle for a best-cash-price are already maximised. And if a private seller is looking for a quick sale to help their next new car purchase along, you really are in the driving seat if you can pay there and then with cash. A large pile of cash is always far more attractive to any seller than a cheque of hire purchase agreement.

Bank loans

If you’ve done your market research and you know exactly the kind of car you’re looking for, and if cash isn’t available, a bank loan can be a good potential option to finance the car purchase. However, high street bank loans rates aren’t the most competitive at the moment – especially for smaller amounts and shorter loans – so it’s a must to shop around for the best interest rate you can find.

Ask in at your local bank branch, especially if you’ve been with them for a long time, as you could possibly negotiate a better rate with them, and also look online at internet-only finance retailers. It’s worth doing, especially with longer term loans for larger amounts as a small saving on a monthly interest rate can really make a difference over a 5-year repayment plan.

Car finance

Car finance is another option open to those that don’t have cash for their next car purchase, and, depending on the interest rate, can be a quick, easy and relatively inexpensive way of obtaining the car that you need. The process for obtaining car finance is much the same as with obtaining a high street bank loan – it will be based on your credit history and your circumstances – so you will need to be in a good financial position. But ultimately car finance is a good way of spreading out the cost of your new car purchase (get a quote here www.carshop.co.uk/car-finance).

The car finance loan rates – as arranged directly through the car retailer – can sometimes come in at quite reasonable rates and there will be an experienced sales person at the car retailer to help walk you through the whole process. Remember, however, that it pays to make as many market comparisons as you can for interest rates and deposit amounts to ensure you get the best possible deal for you (rates will vary depending on your credit score and the amount of finance required).

Once you have sorted out your best way to finance the new motor you would be well advised to give an extended test to the make and model you are going to buy.  A weeks car hire of the desired model will give you plenty of time to really get to know if its the right motor for you.