Start the New Year With a New Car

By: Andrew Regan

In addition to shedding the excess pounds gained over the festive period, many decide to use the beginning of the calendar year to engage in some much-needed spring cleaning. Apart from replacing household appliances and getting rid of unwanted gifts, many decide to start the New Year by buying a new car. But before you rush off to the nearest dealership, there are a few practical concerns that must be evaluated before undertaking such an endeavour.

First, assess your needs as a car user. Changes to your household might have influenced your decision to look for a larger or smaller car, so think about how this will alter your needs. For example, if your current car has a larger boot and enough seats for children that have now grown up and left the home, a smaller car and a smaller boot may be in order.

Second, consider the engine and fuel efficiency. How much distance do you cover on a regular basis? If you are planning to do more than just travelling to and back from work with the odd weekend trip, it could be better to opt for a diesel engine. Diesel engines have a higher fuel efficiency compared to standard petrol engines and are better for the environment due to lower CO2 emissions.

When test-driving a potential new car, keep in mind how it compares to your current one. Test-drive the car for as long as is necessary and try to drive on a bumpy road, and, if it's possible, take it onto the highway. If the car has an automatic transmission, pay particular attention to it, as it is relatively easy to break and relatively expensive to repair. If possible, also try to test-drive another car of the same model for comparison.

When it comes to where to buy a new car, consumers are simply spoilt for choice. In addition to franchised dealers and car supermarkets, online car classifieds have become increasingly popular. If you do decide to use the latter, make sure to do your research properly before parting with any money for the car. Also be sure to get all the necessary paperwork with your purchase, such as a receipt as proof of purchase, a copy of the warranty, the service book and the logbook.

Remember that buying a car is one of the most important decisions of any household and you should never part with your money without complete peace of mind. Bearing the aforementioned points in mind should ensure that you won't be looking for a new car next year too.

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