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Buying tips

  • 20 tips to help save cash
  • For buying and owning
  • Simple and easy advice
Words ByWhat Car? Staff

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Haggle like a pro
The What Car? Target Price makes haggling easy, but for the biggest possible discount search for the cheapest online price then challenge the dealer to match it.

Know the value of your part-ex
Dont get turned over on your trade-in. Check the value of your old car with our free valuation service on whatcar.com before going to the showroom.

Shop around for finance
The finance package the dealer offers may be competitive, but youll never know unless you shop around. Sites such as Moneysupermarket.com make comparisons that bit easier.

Think ahead
A tempting deal now may not look so sweet in three years if the car loses value quickly. Check the resale values are sound before you buy.

Downsize your car, downsize your bills
Go for a smaller car with an economical engine and you can save a small fortune on fuel bills, insurance and Vehicle Excise Duty.

Buy a pre-reg
Dealers pre-register cars to hit sales targets. Buy a pre-reg and youll own a new car in all but name at a knock-down price.

Go for a greener car
Cars with low carbon dioxide emissions are also more fuel-efficient. Whether you are a business driver or a private buyer, it pays to go green.

Sell your old car privately
Trading-in your old car when you buy a new one is convenient, but youll probably make more money by selling it privately.

Buy a model thats about to be replaced
Dealers will be keen to shift stock to make way for a new or face-lifted model, and are likely to offer some pretty tempting deals. Resale values wont be as strong, though.

Be prepared to walk away
Theres no such thing as a once-in-a-lifetime deal. If you are not ready to buy, just walk away. Tomorrows price could be even better.