Buying a car may seem daunting at first. There's the stress of picking a suitable size, how many doors, petrol or diesel and this is all before you have even decided what colour to go for.

However, taking the right steps and doing the research can save you a lot of money and make for a smoother sale.

Follow this advice and you will be sure to drive away with the best deal possible for you.

Avoid indulging in add-ons

Despite how much the dealer tells you paint protection will be a life saver, you don't always have to take up the finance and insurance add-ons that they often try and stick on the end of your bill.

Although some are advised and can be beneficial it would be worth checking how much they will cost you and if the cons outweigh the pros.

It may also be possible to acquire an add-on once you have purchased a car for cheaper costs by using alternative sellers.


First, carry out research on the car you have your eyes set on so you have an idea on a price range and work out what you can afford.

Start at a low opening price and allow the dealer to work the price up to an amount that you're happy with.

If a dealer says they can't go any lower it's also worth suggesting that they're facing competition from another dealer who is offering a better quote as this may then encourage them to drop the price.

Think about resale value

It may be early days, but one of the best ways to save money is being able to make it up when you eventually decide to sell your car.

Car options like air conditioning, built-in satellite navigation and parking sensors can all help cut the car's depreciation in the long run.

Depreciation is the difference in worth from when you first purchase and sell the car and is known to be the biggest factor in the cost of owning a car.


Pay by cash

If you are in a position to do so, paying by cash or putting down a large deposit can give you greater negotiating power.

You save money over the long term by reducing interest costs.

However always make sure you keep enough cash for ongoing expenses and emergencies.

Shop online


It's very simple to buy a car privately from the owner through used car websites or through an online broker.

You can usually inspect and negotiate the price with the owner when you meet them. By shopping online you reduce additional costs that cover the dealer's commission and operational expenses.

If you buy a car privately make sure you carefully check the condition and history, as once purchased you have minimal consumer protection for any faults found later.


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