Buy A Bargain New Car – 7 Easy Steps to Save You Money

What if we aren’t (yet) interested in maintenance, driving tips or tips for keeping our car going? Maybe we’re here because we just want to get a new set of wheels on the cheap. Well, you have come to the right place to buy a bargain new car.

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Catering for every price bracket....some bargain new cars right there
Catering for every price bracket….

What is the car for?
Much the same as with my used car buyers guide, it helps if we know what the car will be for. Will we be mainly in town, or on the motorway? Will we be regularly taking passengers, either now or in future? Knowing this will help us narrow down the kind of machine we should be after. As said before, if in doubt, a family hatch back or saloon will cover most of the bases.

How much can we afford?
Affording a car means being able to buy it and run it. So we have a lot to consider beyond the purchase price or monthly repayments. We need to think about insurance, tax, fuel use and servicing. As ever, a guide I follow is that when we can afford twice the purchase price of the car, we can probably afford it comfortably. If the list price is above our annual income, then it may be an idea to reduce our threshold.

What are our possible options?
There’s some items to consider here too. We consider safety, reliability, brand and the like. But before we even get there, we must consider how ‘new’ we want our new car to be. Four options here:

Consider all options: Then buy a Golf GTi or similar. A full-size one, preferably....a bargain when (nearly) new
Consider all options: Then buy a Golf GTi or similar. A full-size one, preferably….

New: The car is new and we are the first owner. We can specify options to our hearts (and account’s) content. A lot of scope for discounts, depending on when you buy. The dealer orders the car once we decide on the exact spec and any options that we want.

Pre-Registered / Nearly New: This is a technique whereby the dealer buys the car in question, and registers it to the dealership. This is mainly done as a way of meeting sales targets. Some large discounts to be had here as the car will already have one owner. Ideally we should be happy with the spec on this sort of car, as changing it is difficult.

Ex-Demonstrator: Ex-demos are new cars that have been used for test drives. Again, they will likely be registered to the dealership. As they will have had an ‘owner’, plus many feet on the pedals, they are prime targets for discounts. As above, we need to be happy with the spec, as these are difficult to re-specify.

Buy Pre-Facelift: Facelifting a car means giving it a mid-life update. This normally comes in the form of more shiny bumpers and different wheels. Most people won’t notice on the new version. So we should buy the old one instead and save a boatload of cash. My dad saved around £4000 on his Mondeo by doing this. It really works. These cars will be in stock, so hopefully we are happy with the standard equipment.

Once we’ve decided on this, we can then get round to selecting cars based on what equipment we need and would like. Once we have balanced out our priorities (performance, safety, gadgets), we can move on to the buying process. Sometimes it’s better to go for a slightly higher spec version as the car may hold its value better long term.

When should we buy?
Dealers generally have either monthly or quarterly sales targets, that tend to coincide with the calendar year. If we can plan our buying around that, we will really be in the hot seat for a healthy discount. Another factor to consider is car registration. This takes place twice a year, in March and September, making these months good times to buy. I would personally select a less busy time to visit a dealer and negotiate. If we are the only customers in the showroom, we are the only way for a dealer to make money. Hence they will probably be nicer to us! We live in hope anyway….

Hatchbacks are popular for good reason... grab a new car bargain
Hatchbacks are popular for good reason…

When we find a car, what should we check?
Fewer checks here than buying a used car, because the dealer should have the car fully prepared and checked. Plus, new cars come with a warranty, and these can last a very long time indeed. Although we should note that we may lose a few months of the warranty if we buy a car that’s not ‘completely’ new.

Other than this, it’s a case of checking we are happy with the specifications and the equipment. If we are feeling brave and notice something missing that we would like, we may be able to get the dealer to throw it in. But plenty of time for this later. Now it’s time to get behind the wheel.

How should we carry out the test drive?
With a new car, we shouldn’t expect any reliability issues. If there are any, some questions will need to be asked! This test drive is more to allow us to become comfortable with the machine in a range of different environments. Is it easy to drive? Is it comfortable? Can we park it easily? Are we able to comfortably operate all the controls? We should try the car in a range of environments; A car that is great in town might be unstable on the motorway. A car that’s solid at high speed might be tough to drive in town. We need to decide whether we can make the various compromises that cars come with.

Sealing the deal!
If the car has passed all the tests so far, Excellent! There are just a few more items to take care of before we reach for the champagne. As before, we should haggle, unless the car is an amazing deal to start with. In that case, we should still haggle anyway. We are under no pressure to buy the car, but the seller needs it sold eventually. Now we can get the dealer to throw in a few extras, like a longer warranty or some free insurance.

Ensure all the paperwork is present before anything is signed. If there’s anything amiss, then we walk away. Even if everything is present, if we don’t need the car today, let’s walk away anyway. The seller may get back to us the following day with a better deal. We still have the power. Let’s make sure it’s well used. Enjoy buying your bargain new car!

Don’t forget to have a look at the Blog: Journeys of Focus, which majors on real life experiences and applying various money saving tips. Feel free to also get in contact. Thanks for reading!