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Top 10 tips for buying a new car

There are some who’ll tell you that buying a new car is crazy, because of the well-worn adage that "it loses thousands the second you drive off the forecourt." And while there’s truth in that, it’s a simplistic view. In the modern business of selling cars, where sales figure one-upmanship is currency, it’s never been easier to get a new car bargain, no matter your budget.

Here are our tips on getting the right car for you, at the right price. 

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Work out what you need

Obvious, we know, but it’s really important to establish a set of imperatives before you hit the showrooms, with their dizzying combination of special offers, smooth salesmen and machine-vended frothy Flavia. How many seats do you need? What sort of luggage space? Is fuel economy more important than performance?

Are there certain conveniences you can’t live without, like an iPod connection or air conditioning? Will it one day become the kids’ runabout, or do you only plan to keep it for a couple of years? Think about all these things before you begin. 

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corinthian    on 22 September 2016

Wrong again , ( apart from pointing out that car dealers don't like cash deals ). With your money making next to nothing in interest at the bank , whatever deal you make, will cost a lot more . Yes I know 0% finance deals are available but, the lender makes the rules, i.e. how much deposit, how long the term and the final payment amount. If you can find the cash, pay by cash ; it won't cost you anything in interest, and the interest you lost at the bank ( typically between £1 and £4 per £1000 per annum ) is hardly anything worth talking about !

Alastair Gordon    on 23 September 2016

Corinthian clearly has not learnt the basic lesson: "If it appreciates, buy it: if it depreciates, lease it."
With a zero interest loan available use the capital not applied in buying the car to invest in assets with potential to grow in value - equities or a classic car or collectable whisky...

Arminius JP    on 14 December 2016

The saying "If it appreciates, buy it: if it depreciates, lease it" over-simplifies and probably often mislead as the first part is intuitively correct but the second part disgusies the fact that a lessor will demand full recompense for the depreciation suffered as well as covering its cost of funds (saving for 0 per cent. deals that are sometimes offered) and other costs. Accordingly, leasing a depreciating asset does not typically allow the leasee to avoid the equivalent costs he would suffer as the outright owner and therefore the decision to lease or buy is often driven by such considerations as the expected frequency of replacing a vehicle and how it is being financed rather than the legal form of its supply.

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