Your thoughts will naturally gravitate towards life after passing your Driving Test, even if that pink licence isn’t quite yet secured. But, that goes in hand with a million other questions.
First things first; we are going to guide you on WHAT NOT to do when car shopping.
1. Do not skimp on the research.
It is so important to do some pre-shopping research before even going to a car showroom.
If you don’t, then your first and only impression of that car is what the car salesperson pitches to you.
To avoid this from happening, research the cars that you might be interested in and spend time comparing features and specs from one to another.
2. Do not skip the test drive!
This is an important one. Not only should you not refuse the test drive but you need to make sure you’re doing it right. And to do it correctly, you want to be driving for at least 15 minutes, over different terrains and if possible on a dual carriageway.
Adjust your seat so you can see your mirrors properly, think about how the steering wheel feels, and make sure you like how the braking feels.
Don’t forget to ask questions! If the car has features, ask about them! Be shown how to operate them properly and test drive them on your practice run.
3. Keep an open mind.
A big mistake that people often make when buying a car is choosing based solely on the make or appearance instead of the actual features the vehicle offers.
Instead, outline all the key features you want from your car and then research all the different types of cars that fall within your criteria.
Remember to test drive multiple different cars to see which you like the best! Be open to choosing a car that isn’t the one you had your heart set on.
4. Don’t buckle under the pressure!
You’ve finally agreed on a car you want but, we hate to say it, the decision-making doesn’t stop there.
You’re going to have add-ons flying at you left right and centre by the dealership, including extended warranties, service programs and so on. Sometimes these are really worth having, but don’t feel pressured into agreeing to everything! Consider the costs and your criteria closely.
5. Financing isn’t your only option.
You do not have to finance your car through the dealership. Of course, this is an option but it is not your only option.
Car dealerships don’t always have the best rates, and they know you want their car so are more likely to upsell you into a higher-interest loan to help you get the car you want.
Consider looking at other ways you can finance your car. Look at bank loans and specialised car loan lenders online!
6. Think about insurance before you buy!
Many don’t realise that you need to be looking at insurance before actually deciding on the car you want. You need to understand the cost of that policy based on the car and that car’s worth.
Some cars, trendy sports cars or big SUVs often cost more to insure than you realise, so homework is always best so you’re not left horrified when you need to take out a policy on your new car that you can’t return!
7. Don’t be impulsive.
You do not need to make the decision on the spot. By leaving the dealership you will give yourself time to digest the information. Resulting in more time to consider your negotiation position.
Also, take this breathing space as a chance to look at other dealerships to see if there are better prices out there.
Buying a car is quite literally your key to freedom, but as listed above, there is a lot to think about.
Looking to buy your car before you pass is normal and quite common. You might even want to practise in your new car on the weekends and in the evenings with a friend or family member. This is also extremely common and something we would actually recommend.
74% of people who passed the first time had extra practice outside of their lessons.
If you are looking to up your hours behind the wheel, ultimately upping your chances of passing, then check out Dayinsure, our insurance partner.