Buying - Part 2

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Buying - Part 2
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What Car? Staff
19 Mar 2009 09:00

Buying - Part 2
10Dealers get bonuses if they sell a certain number of cars each month or quarter. Trot into a showroom at the end of these periods and they may be willing to offer a cracking saving, perhaps even at a loss to them, just to secure this extra reward.

11Wait until the March and September new-reg rush has died down. Some people have to have a car with the latest registration plate, so demand is high in these months, meaning the chance of a discount is much smaller. So, if youre prepared to wait a month or two, you should benefit from even greater price cuts.

12If youre flexible about the colour and trim level of your new car, you could get a big discount on a car thats already been built, rather than having to wait weeks or months to have one built to your exact specification.

13A brand new car is the most expensive of all, and youll have to suffer the sting of the steepest drop in its value when you drive it off the forecourt. However, if you go for a nearly new car thats six or 12 months old, someone else will have taken that hit.

14Dealers sometimes pre-register cars to make it look like theyre selling more than they are, and these come with bigger-than-usual savings. Bear in mind, though, that you wont be the cars first registered keeper, and walk away if the dealer wants to keep the V5C registration document for a couple of months (you need this document otherwise your insurance may be invalid, and that would mean youre breaking the law).

15Dealers and brokers are experiencing tough times, and some have already gone bust. Pay for any amount of your car purchase with a credit card and youll be protected by section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if the dealer does go into administration. The Act says that credit card providers are equally liable for a dealers failure to supply, so youll be able to get 100% of your cash back through them (up to 30,000), without even having to try the dealer first.

16If new, nearly new or pre-registered cars are still too dear and youre looking at a used model, get a history check done on it by firms such as HPI to ensure it hasnt been nicked. Spending 20 on this will save a lot if the car turns out to be stolen.

17A vehicle check by organisations such as the RAC can provide peace of mind on the likely reliability of a used car, but consider an extended warranty from providers such as Warranty Direct or What Car? Warranty.

18Buying a car at auction can save you a lot of cash, because auctions cut out the middle men. However, its easy to get carried away and go over budget and, unless youre mechanically minded, it can be hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. If you can afford to, buy a car within its warranty period to protect yourself.