It may not be quite as expensive as buying a house, but buying a new car is pretty high up on the list, and that means there is a lot to consider before parting with your cash. Quite simply, buying a sparkly new car straight off the conveyor belt is not cheap, and the moment you put your foot on the accelerator, you’re going to wipe a whole lot of its value. Actually, in your first year alone, you’ll knock off 19% of the value on average.
That is not meant to put you off buying a brand new car. It is just meant to help you understand that buying smart is going to help you hugely, which is why we have come up with an extensive list of tips, tricks, advice and must-have know-how to help you get your hands on a brand new car for less.
That’s right. There are ways to help you reduce the final bill of your new car, and here is how:
1. Do you really need to buy new?
Okay, we’re sorry for having to bring this up, but we need to. Why? Because a lot of people don’t understand the cost of buying a shiny new car off the shiny floor of a sparkling showroom. We touched on it briefly when we said that a car – on average – loses 19% of its value in the first year alone. This figure goes up to around 50% within the first three years. That is average. It could be that you see your car lose more.
That is a huge chunk of change to be losing, especially when you look at it from the other angle and consider that you could be saving that amount if you bought a car that was one or two years old or even an ex-demo car.
2. Know which models hold their own
So we’ve established that a big factor to consider is the fast loss of value. This means one thing and one thing only; the amount your car drops in value over the first three years is going to be the single biggest hit to your wallet. That means if you want to save money, knowing all about a car’s depreciation should be your highest priority.
Don’t worry, researching car depreciation isn’t a long, convoluted and tedious mission because of What Car? Has a depreciation calculator that allows you to see how much a model holds its value. It will also give you a breakdown of how much value it sheds year on year. If you are serious about saving money, this should have a huge impact on your decision-making.
3. Life is all about timing
Okay, so choosing what make and model is massively important to saving money, but there is no point going through all the hassle of researching different cars, and maybe even learning about extra-curricular things like working out your personal loan for debt consolidation if you don’t know the importance of timing. Knowing when to buy could save you a massive chunk of cash.
The reason for this is simple. Dealers have to meet certain quotas and targets if they want to win their bonuses, which makes knowing the target structure can help. Generally, these bonuses are based on quarterly sales. That means the best time to buy a new car is either at the end of March, June, September or December. Basically, they need to sell cars before the end of these months, which means you will have a better chance of bargaining with them and knocking them down on price.
This isn’t the only thing to consider when talking about time, either. Try and avoid new license plate season as much as possible, and consider what type of car you’re buying in what season. If you want to get your hands on a convertible Mercedes-Benz, then buy in the winter, when it is out of season. You would buy your ski gear in the summer to save money, so why not do the same with cars.
4. Know what cheaper really is
When it comes to buying a car, it can be a real challenge knowing what will make it cheaper to run. There are facts, factoids, and total myths. But if you follow these rules then you should see yourself buy a car that is cheaper to run. Smaller engines tend to be cheaper than bigger engines. Manual cars tend to be cheaper than automatic cars. Petrol cars tend to be cheaper than diesel cars. A car’s CO2 emissions will affect how much you pay in road tax. Hybrid and electric cars will cost more upfront but will save you money in running costs. Smaller cars tend to be cheaper to insure.
Of course, there are a lot of different facets to consider, and that see you sitting at your laptop for hours and hours trying to decipher what your cheapest options are. But don’t worry, because of What Car? Can help you determine what the cheapest cars are, even taking into consideration your preferences.
5. Why not buy pre-reg?
How does a potential 70% of the retail price of your new car sound? Great, huh. Well, this is possible to achieve if you buy a car that is what the industry refers to as pre-reg. Essentially, what this means is the car has technically had one owner already. However, the car hasn’t actually had an owner.
What happens is, the car dealer buys a car and then registers it to their dealership. The reason they do this is to meet their quarterly sales targets, but they do it artificially. Why? Well, those that work in dealerships tend to make more from meeting their targets than they do through the commission of actually selling a car.
This is good news for you because your potential new car will have a record that shows it has already had one new owner, allowing you to snap it up with a hefty discount tag. Woohoo. All the benefits of buying a brand new car, just without that heavy price tag.
** This is a collaborative post