Buying a car on a budget | AD

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Need to buy a car, but only got a small budget to work with? Here are a few tips for saving money when purchasing a vehicle.

Don’t buy brand new

Buying brand new isn’t really an option unless you’ve got more than £10k to play with. Currently, the cheapest new car on the market is the Dacia Sandero at £6,995. It hasn’t got a radio, air conditioning or wind-up windows – which is something most used cars that are quarter of the price will have as standard. There are added costs to consider when buying used cars such as the conditions and the potentially lower fuel economy, however when it comes to the initial purchase price you’ll always make a saving by buying used rather than new.

Look into finance options

Financing can allow you to stretch your budget by not having to pay the full amount up front. In most cases, you are charged interest – which means you’ll pay more in the long run – however there are some interest free finance options out there such as this 8 Plate Vauxhall with 5 Years 0% APR. To be eligible for most finance schemes, you’ll need a good credit score and the ability to leave a decent deposit.

Try independent sellers

When shopping for cars, don’t just stick to dealerships. You can often save money by buying from an independent seller – you’ll find these sellers online on the likes of Facebook and Gumtree. The downside of buying independently is that you’re likely to be less protected if you make a bad purchase. As a result, you should keep your wits about you and always inspect a car in person (and test drive it) before buying.

Buy at the right time

You can sometimes save money by timing your purchase carefully. Certain vehicles are likely to be cheaper at certain times of the year. For instance, convertibles tends to be cheaper in the winter when there’s less demand for them, whilst SUVs are cheaper in the summer. If you’re buying from a dealership, you may also be able to nab a better deal during the week than at the weekend when dealerships are less busy. Some dealerships may also lower prices at the end of the week on a Friday or at the end of the month as they attempt to meet targets.

Don’t forget other running costs

The purchase cost isn’t the cost you need to consider when buying a car – insurance, road tax, fuel and maintenance costs are also important to consider. Look into these before you settle on a car so that you know what you’re getting yourself into. The seller may be able to give you information on these details or you may be able to look them up online.

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