Buying a New Car Tips
If the idea of buying a brand new car instead of nearly new is appealing, huge savings can be made with a little research.
Now that you have a make and model of new car in mind, let’s take a look at the best tips on obtaining the biggest discounts on your new purchase.
HAGGLING FOR A NEW CAR
Here in the UK, haggling as a means to acquire discounts is something that many of us feel uncomfortable with. Along with this, many of us in fact take the listed value of an item as fixed with no room for bargaining. Whereas almost always, most products have significant profit margins that can be narrowed down with a little haggling, and new cars are no different.
Haggling is potentially going to see some good money savings when buying a new car. Dealers and their sales people work on commission to top up their basic salary and will almost certainly be willing to offer a discount to get your business. If the sales person absolutely refuses to move on the price (although highly unlikely), simply go to one that will.
An experienced sales person will as they say ‘read you like a book’. or at least try to. So the key here is to ensure the dealer believes that you are serious about making a purchase, but not particularly bothered who with. If you appear desperate, they’re not going to offer you the best discounts. Be realistic with your discount target however. Dealers may not make the huge profit margins that many believe and they do of course need to make a reasonable profit themselves. On an average family car, expect to target your discount at around the £500 mark.
Timing the buy
Sales people get given monthly targets. The cold facts are that in most cases sales people must meet or come close to these targets else risk losing their job. The start of the month can typically involve them striving for the best sales. To a dealer, the best sales involve selling at the mark-up price with little or no discounts – this equals maximum commission. The end of the month however may see a sales person more inclined to meet their sales target with less emphasis on how much commission they earn. The end of the month is far more likely to see you, the purchaser with greater offers and discounts eagerly handed over. Another good time to buy a new car is just before the arrival of new registration plates.
New registration plate numbers are released every six months in March and September. Cars sitting on the for court with old registration numbers is old stock that is depreciating in value quickly. Dealers don’t like this so are very keen to sell cars before they become old stock. So, the end of any month is a good time to buy a new car, but better still is the end of either February or August before new registration plates arrive. December is often a quiet month for car dealers as the majority of the public has other financial matters to deal with.
Cheaper to buy a car online or with a dealer
In general buying a car online could be cheaper as it will be cutting out the dealers commission. Although you may find a much cheaper car of your choice by purchasing through an online dealer, the downside is that you may not be able to test drive it and it’s much less likely that you can part exchange your old car. Although buying a car online is likely to be cheaper, it isn’t necessarily the case however as a dealer may have gotten the vehicle at a cheaper rate and has a larger margin to bargain with.
Initially research the best prices found online for your chosen car. Armed with this information and best deals, take this along with you when visiting dealers. After a little negotiation they will hopefully beat the prices you found online, if not you could show them evidence of your findings which will likely push them into providing you with better deals.
All popular cars are at some point superseded by a newer model. If you happen to time your purchase to fall in-line as a newer model is released, dealers are desperate to shift older models. Huge savings of up to 30% on new cars can be made.
Pre-registered ‘new’ cars
Cars that are registered to the dealer are technically second hand. They are pre-registered so that they can then be sold onto private buyers at hugely discounted prices. Although they are technically second hand, they typically have very file miles to their name – often a couple of hundred but usually much fewer. The benefits to the dealer is that they are easier to sell, particularly useful when targets need to be met or at slow times of the year. The benefit to the buyer is of course the huge financial savings.
Insuring your new car
Before buying your new car, you will have likely obtained insurance quotes for your ideal car. Upon completion of buying a new car, the dealer may offer you their own competitive insurance. It may in fact be competitive although it’s often more expensive than a policy self-sourced. Again, dealers receive commission on car insurance sales and if haggled, may reduce the price. Take along the quotes you obtained and if the dealer can’t compete, tell them you’re not interested.
On the other hand, dealers can use car insurance as an incentive for you to purchase the car by offering significantly reduced insurance, and in some cases free annual car insurance. Although this may appear attractive, check the coverage of the policy to ensure it doesn’t fall below the minimum you require.
Car Insurance Tips
New car finance
Unless you’re fortunate enough to buy a new car outright, you will need to take out finance. Dealers are more than happy to organise this for and will provide you with often very attractive monthly repayment figures. Although this being arranged for you is convenient and often appearing financially attractive, you may find a bank loan to be far less interest repayments along with other long-term benefits. Focus on the total cost of the loan instead of the monthly repayments.
Before entering the dealership, secure quotes from banks and other financial organisations to compare with what the dealership can offer. Other potential important aspects of finance is flexibility. Are you able to sell the car before the end of the finance term? Are you able to make over payments or bulk payments with your finance agreement so to reduce the term?
Tips for buying a new car
Car dealers are of course businesses and like any other, are trying to make money from you. A car dealer puts their mark-up and the sales person who sells you the new car makes their commission. There’s plenty of their large margin to be narrowed down and the smaller it gets, the more money you save. Saving money on buying a new car can be easily achieved when following many of the new car buying tips on this page. Along with these tips, be cautious of any extras that the sales person attempts to convince you to buy. It’s not that they’re completely unnecessary or a waste of money, but it’s often possible to find cheaper alternatives.
A dealer will often attempt to sell you GAP insurance after purchasing a new car for example. Guaranteed Asset Protection or GAP insurance provides cover if your new car is written off or stolen within the first 12 months from purchase. There may be a large financial shortfall or ‘gap’ between the amount you paid or owe on the car, and the amount your car insurance provider will pay you. GAP insurance fills this shortfall. A dealer may offer you GAP insurance for £300 – £400, whilst looking online to obtain quotes can easily save you £200. See what is GAP insurance and do I need it for further details on whether it’s needed when buying a new car or used.
Check also that there are no hidden expenses or expenses that have not been mentioned. These may include a delivery charge on the vehicle, registration plates or any extras or special features on the car purchased.
If you are considering trading in your old car, you will be much more likely to get a better deal if you sell it privately. It is of course much more convenient to trade it in, but bear in mind that dealers need to make a profit. They may offer you a great price on your old car, but will need to make their margins elsewhere, typically this will be the new car you intend on purchasing. Research prices on your old car to get an estimate of what to expect from the dealer. It’s likely that you will be offered less than what you are expecting however. The dealer may offer minimum trade in prices that may look excellent. These may however be conditional on for instance that you agree to their finance on buying the new car.