Car Buying Tips

There comes a time when your trusty companion of the last five years starts to look a bit tired and has probably seen better days. The rear view mirror is down in the passenger foot well, you're missing a wheel trim and the engine sings to its own beat. So that's it... You start to look for a new car, but where do you start?

We have compiled a list of helpful tips to aid you in your buying experience. 

First, sit down with a pen and paper then list and understand your requirements. 

What is it you liked about your current car?
Why did you buy it?
Is there something in your old car you would like in your new one?
Do you need a small hatchback, a people carrier, commuting car and something a bit fancy?
Petrol or diesel?
7 Seats?
Any extra's such as bluetooth or parking sensors?

Next is to work out your budget.
Take everything into consideration

How much you spend on fuel
Your insurance costs
Road fund license
Price of tyres
Annual servicing costs

Now research your new car. 

Based upon the budget you have in mind, go online and start to look for cars in your area or a distance you are willing to travel too. 

Keep an open mind at first, put in your budget, desired fuel type and size of car and just see what comes up. There may be something you wouldn't have normally considered. 

Make a shortlist of cars that have ticked all your boxes, then it's time for research again. Read online reviews, find out if there are any known issues/ possible common problems to look out for and what trim level (higher the trim level the more extras) for each model best suits your needs. This will then enable you to make a more educated decision as to what you are after. 

Then research the costs related to running the car as you most likely did before purchasing your current car, look in to; 

Fuel costs/ MPG
Road fund license
Annual servicing costs
Tyre costs 

Now it's time to head online again. 

Purchasing a new car is the second biggest purchase commitment you are ever likely to make after purchasing a house, so you want to know you'll be getting value for money. 

Find dealers with a choice of cars available and have a look at what they have to offer in regards to warranty and preparation of their cars. Read their testimonials and reviews on their website and also have a look online. 

Make sure you go to a reputable dealer, a company that takes care in how they present a car online is a good indicator to how the car will be presented in person. Look for someone who is willing to give you all the information you need prior to your visit. In our case we present you everything you need to know about a particular car on our website, such as 40+ photos, spin and zoom function for viewing inside and outside of the car and most importantly, we'll upload all the documentation for each and every car as soon as it becomes available. This includes the V5 registration document, MOT, Service History, HPi Report and the RAC Inspection report! 

There are also a few more thing's to look out for online. Price is always a good indicator, if the price looks to good to be true then it probably is. Sometimes dealers advertise cars with no mileage, this is generally because it has very high mileage or what is known to be a 'spoof' car; a car that doesn't exist and is used to fool people into making contact or turning up to the dealership. Something Imperial Car Supermarkets are proud to say we would never do!

Now you have shortlisted the cars and dealerships you are going to visit what else should you do?

If you are part exchanging your car make sure it's clean, after all, the dealership will technically be buying your car from you. 
Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork with you; Vehicle registration document/ V5/ Logbook, any service history you may have including the book and receipts and MOT certificate. 

If you have found your dream car, taking all the documents with you may mean you can drive it away the same day!

For more tips on how to get the most for your part exchange click here

Make sure you take your list of requirements with you and check them off as you look at each car so that you know you are buying the best car for you. Make sure you check for extra specification too as this may not always be listed in the advert. It is the customers responsibility to check that the car they are buying is right for them. You can now search on our website by specification just to make it that bit easier for you :) 

If you require finance for your next vehicle purchase be sure to take both parts of your driving license with you, your passport and a utility bill providing proof of address as this will speed up the process and save you having to drive back later.  

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