Need to know advice before buying a car

Need to know advice before buying a car

Our recent article “Car buying tips from the pros” was packed full of useful tips and information on buying a new or used car, whether from a trusted, multi-store car supermarket like CarShop, a main dealer, an independent trader or a private seller. Our experienced Customer Consultants are so committed to helping people find the right car for them; they’ve compiled some additional useful advice.


Even the most reliable models are sometimes recalled by their manufacturers for safety reasons, so it’s a good idea to do some research online such as reading owners’ club forums. Followed by speaking to one of our consultants who will be more than happy to check whether a particular vehicle, in our stock, has been subject to any safety recalls and whether these were completed.

How safe is it?

Still on the safety theme, an organisation called Euro NCAP tests most new cars and gives them a rating. You can visit their website to search for the results of various makes and models. Cars’ NCAP scores are also often referred to in road test reviews published online by car magazines and bloggers.

Will it be affordable to run?

It’s all very well being able to afford, for example, a used Range Rover or Audi TT when it comes to the price on the windscreen, but it’s important to consider how much the vehicle you’ve got your heart set on will cost to run. For starters, look for the combined mpg figure to see how efficiently it uses fuel. Also, check things like the size and price of the tyres, how much an average service costs and how much it will cost to renew the road tax each year.

Emissions are important but not everything

Cars which are particularly efficient and environmentally-friendly because they emit low levels of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) are attractive to more and more customers these days, partly because they are much cheaper or even free to tax. But they typically cost slightly more than marginally less green cars, so weigh up whether potentially spending a thousand pounds or so more is worth it just to get a car with zero or ultra-low road tax.

Think of depreciation in real terms

Cars inevitably reduce in value, or depreciate, and this figure is often stated as a percentage per year. It’s a good tip, though, to convert the percentage into actual pounds and pence, to see how much you’ll actually be looking at and how much the car will likely be worth in a few years’ time. Some cars have much stronger resale values than others, so this is something else that can be researched before making a decision.

What do you actually need and want a car to do?

It would be nice to drive around in a Ferrari every day, but even if you can afford one, would it actually tick the boxes you need and want it to? If you have children and the car you’re thinking of buying will be the only one in your household, a practical style of car like a MPV, estate or SUV will be more suitable – and most of them even look great these days too. Likewise if you live on a farm on a remote hillside and often get snowed in, you’d be better off looking at 4x4 cars.


After considering these factors along with other top tips we may have shared elsewhere on our blog, it’s important that you get behind the wheel of the cars you’ve got in mind, to see if you actually like how they feel to drive, whether the interior is something you could live with and if it’s easy to manoeuvre. You’re more than welcome to take a friend or relative along on a test drive, which we recommend should be on a number of different types of roads at a variety of speeds. Our helpful staff are only a phone call, email or visit away should you have any questions, and you can also contact us using Facebook or Twitter.

  • On: 22 December 2014
  • By: CarShop

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