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    How to save on your next car purchase

    Buying a car is a big investment and now more than ever, every penny counts. But the price displayed for a car isn’t necessarily what you should pay. There are a number of ways that you can save on your next car purchase.

    Research

    Before you head off to a dealership do some research about the type of car you are looking for, as well as similar models. Make sure you know the market value of the vehicle you want, as well as think about the average type of journey you’ll make. For example, if you commute to work and spend time on a motorway, you’ll want a car that’s fuel efficient, however, if you live out in the countryside, a 4×4 or crossover car might be more suitable.

    Get used or nearly new

    Buying a car that’s a few years old will offer you the chance to get more of the features you want, without paying a premium. When buying a new car, the depreciation is greater than if you buy a used car. Every new car will lose value as soon as its driven off the forecourt. Similarly, a used car with a high mileage or one that’s badly maintained will also be less valuable than a vehicle that has low mileage and is well-kept.

    Shop out of season

    If you’re shopping at a dealership it’s worth seeing if you can wait for the end of February or end of August to buy your car as the new registration plates are released on the 1st of March and September annually. This often means dealerships slash prices on cars with the previous years’ registration plate.

    Similarly, think about the type of car you want and work out when it will be in less demand. For example, cars that are more suited to winter weather will be cheaper in the summer months, and sports cars and soft-top convertibles aren’t as sought after in the winter.

    Consider financing options

    If you don’t have the money to buy outright, then consider various financing options. Not only do dealerships often have financing options, but you can trade in your current car and pay the difference, opt for higher purchase, or lease higher. But remember, however you decide to finance your car, it’s important to think about your long-term financial plans, as well as the cost of owning and running a car. This is everything from paying for the car tax for the full year upfront instead of paying in instalments, as well as driving in a fuel efficient way.

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