Replacing your car: what you need to know

There will always come a time when you have to replace your beloved car. As painful as the thought may be, it’s vital to think ahead, especially when considering the financial implications. We share the things you need to know about changing your vehicle, whether new or previously owned.

Needs Vs wants

Whatever reason you have for replacing your current car, it would be worth writing down a list of your requirements. These could include whether it runs on diesel or petrol, the size of the engine, how many seats it has, and whether it is manual or automatic. Once you’ve done that, go back over it and highlight in green the must haves and in orange the things you would like, but that aren’t vital. Take this list with you whenever you go to look at a new car. The things you’ve highlighted in green are things you must refuse to negotiate on; these are the things you decided you definitely needed.

Test drive more than one

Even if you are known for being a long-time Ford lover, there is a chance that a newer model might not be quite right for you. Maybe you are so focused on getting a certain make of car that you are willing to give up on some of your requirements. To make sure that you are doing the right thing, take a few cars out for a test drive, certainly more than one. Don’t forget to take any car seats with you, if you have children, to make sure they will all fit comfortably in there. We also recommend taking a friend or family member along with you too, to sit in the back, as having a second opinion is important.

Shop around

There are advantages to using major car dealers, but that doesn’t mean you should discount a family-owned garage near your house. In fact, many people believe that going with someone local will allow you to receive better customer service. One complaint does far more damage to a small business’ reputation than it would do to a nationwide firm.  

Finances

The financial implications of needing a new car are serious. Whether you are opting for a used car or a new one, they don’t come cheap. If they do, then you will probably encounter numerous problems in the not too distant future needing to have parts fixed or replaced. The option to lease a car is becoming fairly popular with those who are unable to put down a hefty deposit or buy out right.

Consider extra expenses

If you are upgrading your vehicle, you will certainly have considered how much money you will be paying to buy the actual car, whether outright or via finance. However, often we forget about the potential increases in terms of car insurance and road tax. Before making any major decision, it is worth contacting your insurance company to see how much your premium will increase by. Using an online price comparison website to check for the cheapest deal would be another recommended step to take.