Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Which Car Should I Buy

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Where To Buy A Used Car

Should I Buy A New or Used Car?

There have never been more options when it comes to where to buy, although most of the cars on the coming pages are on the newer side and so less likely to be sold privately. But regardless of where youre buying from, head over to autoexpress.co.uk/tips-advice for lots of useful information.

Independent dealers are still a major draw for the used-car buyer without the overheads of big franchised dealers, they can often cut a great deal. But franchised dealers, with the support of major car makers, offer plenty of reassurance and, more often than not, a manufacturer-backed warranty. They also generally get access to the best and newest used-car stock, and many of these models will be available on an approved used scheme. The details of these programmes vary between brands, but you can expect approved models to have a full main-dealer service history, be mechanically and cosmetically inspected, and have undergone a history check ensuring that the car hasnt previously been written off, or isnt subject to outstanding finance.

The past few years have seen a proliferation of online retailers, including our sister firm BuyaCar, which has provided the finance examples you see here. The premise couldnt be simpler: you search for a car you like online, then you can pay for the car or apply for finance, arrange your part-exchange and delivery, all from the comfort of your laptop. Its an easy, hassle-free and haggle-free method that more and more used-car buyers are using.

Car You Should Buy Used: Subaru Outback

The all-wheel-drive Outback is a rugged, high-mileage workhorse of a car that can be relied on to continue to provide a low-maintenance, low-cost of ownership experience even when buying a used model from upwards of a dozen years ago. Subarus are often considered good values both used and new see if the Outback ranks as one of the top cars to buy new.

Use Our Car Affordability Calculator To Find Out Your Maximum Payment

Do you have a car to trade-in? Hows your credit? Have you been socking away money for a new car for years? These factors will affect how much of the car youll have to finance and how much youll have to pay in interest.

Use our car affordability calculator to see how your down payment, trade-in, and auto loan interest rates and terms affect the amount of car you can afford.

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I Need A Car What Should I Be Looking For

You cannot simply search in Google for “the best car for me”, because this is a very personal question, and you cannot count on some algorithm to make it for you. How to choose a car depends largely on your specific needs, so consider your lifestyle, your budget, where you live, and exactly what you will be using the vehicle for. If you value practicality and safety, consider an SUV or crossover. If you need something super cheap, maybe a compact sedan or hatchback would be best. But, if you just want to have some fun, then a coupe or sports car will be right up your alley.

How Does The Car Affordability Calculator Work

What Kind of Car Should I buy?

The above car affordability calculator uses a conservative but solid assumption about how much car you can afford. Whether youre paying cash or financing, the purchase price of your car should be no more than 35% of your annual income. If youre financing a car, the total monthly amount you spend on transportation your car payment, gas, car insurance, and maintenance should be no more than 10% of your gross monthly income. The calculator doesnt ask for gas and insurance values but will begin to reduce the purchase price you can afford if the terms of your loan make your monthly payment exceed 10% of income.

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When Is The Best Time To Buy A Car

If youre looking to replace your car, timing can play a big factor in when youll get the best deal. In normal years, youll likely be able to get a lower price earlier in the week, later in the month or at the end of the year. Unfortunately, 2021 isnt exactly normal, especially in the car-buying market.

This is not the year to buy a vehicle, new or used, says money expert Clark Howard. If you can at all avoid it, dont replace your car. Keep your current car. The market is so terribly distorted right now.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, vehicle production has been affected worldwide. The pandemic has led to factory closures, limited staffing and a shortage of semiconductor chips that are necessary in modern vehicles. According to Edmunds analysts, new vehicle inventory at dealerships nationwide was down by 48% at the end of April 2021 compared to April 2020. Additionally, more than 12% of shoppers were paying more than the sticker price for new cars!

Clark recently saw stickers on every single car at a nearby dealership stating that the manufacturers suggested retail price isnt in effect right now. The vehicles were marked up a minimum of $10,000 above MSRP at the time. He advises that unless youve got to have a vehicle this year, keep driving what you have.Ive never said anything like that in my entire career, says Clark. Theres never been a situation like this.

Types Of Finance Deals

With the vast majority of new cars bought using some form of finance, and with dealers encouraged to sell cars via this method, cash is not necessarily king, and youre as likely to get a discount or deal by buying a car on finance.

Weve put together a comprehensive guide to buying a car using finance, as well as specific guides to PCP deals, Hire Purchase agreements and Personal Contract Hire . If youre using one of these methods to pay for a car, keep an eye on the total price as well as the monthly repayments an optional extra may not seem that expensive on a monthly basis, but its easy to lose sight of the true cost of options, and you may not get your money back when its time to sell your car or trade it in.

Taking out a GAP insurance policy when buying via finance is also a good idea as, if youre unlucky enough to write off your car, you could find yourself seriously out of pocket, adding insult to injury.

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Shop For Car Insurance

Keeping your monthly payment under 10% of your gross income is the most important thing. Thats whats going to keep you from feeling pinched and stretched. Here are some of the top insurance providers on the market today that are operating in your local area. Find the policy that best suits your needs.

How do you know if youre paying too much for insurance?

can help you find out. Either provide a link or PDF of your existing insurance policy and Gabi will shop around for a better deal. If you like the quote youre offered, you can move forward and start saving money. In fact, Gabi customers save $961 on average per year.

If you prefer to work with an agent, can help you save money. If youre an excellent driver, this insurer may be a great option for you. Sign up for Drivewise and earn as much as 25% back for every six months you go without an accident.

Those who have multiple types of insurance may want to look at . You can save big by bundling your auto policy with your renters, homeowners, or condo insurance. Their website makes it easy to get a quick quote to find out if you can save money by switching to them.

Related: Tips for Saving on Your Car Loan

Your Total Car Payment Should Not Exceed 10% Of Your Gross Income

Should I Buy a New or Used Car

Your dream car isnt worth having if your monthly payments eat up all the extra room in your budget. Staying below 10% means youll have money to put toward other things like an emergency fund, a down payment on a house, or a nice vacation.

It also means a change in circumstances say, a pay cut or a job loss wont turn your new wheels into an albatross around your neck.

Rules aside, everyones situation is different

Yeah, yeah, you might be saying but what if I need a car now? And not some junker, but a reliable one thatll get me to work on time?

The 20/4/10 guideline is just that a guideline. If you dont have the cash for 20% down, and you cant take the bus until you save some up, then put down less. If the only way to get your monthly payment down to 10% of your income is to extend the life of the loan, then do it.

Also, take advantage of our amazing resources to help you find the best car insurance for your individual needs. Get a quick quote from car insurance companies in your area using this tool:

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Where To Look For A Car

There are a wide variety of online resources that you can use to read reviews, compare prices, check safety ratings and, ultimately, find a car that has the features youre seeking. Below are some of the top resources available to car buyers today:

  • Kelley Blue Book: This is one of the oldest sources for car research and reviews. On Kelley Blue Books website, you can search for new and used cars for sale, compare features and check prices. Kelley Blue Book also provides expert car reviews and ratings, as well as helpful tools for estimating ownership costs and used car values.
  • Edmunds: For more than 50 years, Edmunds has provided resources for prospective buyers and sellers. Through its website, you can search for cars, read reviews and comparison shop. The site also provides helpful articles and tools for appraising used cars.
  • NADAguides: This site is owned and operated by J.D. Power, a publisher of vehicle information for new and used vehicles. On NADAguides, you can compare features and pricing for new and used cars, as well as research specific models.
  • You can also check out these best online car-buying sites, many of which give expert and consumer reviews.

Decide If You Want To Lease Or Buy

Leasing and buying each have pros and cons, and how you feel about these may help guide your decision on which route to take.

For example, a lease requires little or no money down and offers lower monthly payments. But when the lease ends, you have no car and will need to go shopping again. On the other hand, buying a car is more expensive initially, and the monthly payments are higher. But when you pay off the loan, you will own a car that you can drive for as long as it runs.

Here are a few more factors to consider when deciding between leasing and buying:

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What To Look For In A Test Drive

A car might seem to have all the features you want, but the true test takes place when you are in the driver’s seat. You should test-drive the car the way you would drive it during your everyday life.

If you commute, try driving the car in both stop-and-go traffic and at highway speeds. If you trek to the mountains, see if you can find some nearby steep hills to climb. Drive over bumps, take tight corners, and test the brakes in a safe location.

Get in and out of the car several times and be sure to sit in the back seat, especially if you plan on carrying passengers. Check out the cargo space. If you plan on using children’s car seats, bring yours along to test for fit and ease of installation. Take pictures of the cars so you can reference them later.

While you are evaluating the car, don’t be distracted. Take your time looking everything over. A good salesperson will respect your need to experience the car and will let you focus on the driving experience.

Turn off the stereo so you can listen to the sound of the engine. You can evaluate the sound system when you return to the dealership. If the conversation does turn to questions about whether you’d like to talk about purchasing or leasing, you can say that you’re still in the test-drive stage.

Car You Should Buy Used: Hyundai Sonata


Thanks to a generous five-year, 60,000-mile warranty, many used Hyundais may still be covered when they hit the used car market. Add to that the extra benefit of a used sticker price about $10,000 less than the original cost for a three-year-old Sonata and you have one of the best used car deals available. You may need an affordable used car in a hurry if you see one of these 14 signs that your car is about to die.

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Paying Less For Repairs And Maintenance

A new cars warranties may cover many types of common repairs. In contrast, if you buy a used car, you might want to start a repair fund. Even cars known for their reliability can break down at times, and if youre lucky enough to have a warranty that covers certain issues, it still probably wont cover everything.

For example, normal wear and tear will have you buying new tires or brake pads, which may not be covered by a warranty. Depending on the mileage, a used car could require costly maintenance or repairs.

Consumer Reports found that the owners of certain 2007 and 2014 car makes and models and only for car brands that were part of the survey data paid on average anywhere from $10 to $390 in repairs and maintenance over a 12-month period. But in a cars 10th year, they paid on average anywhere from $315 to $1,125.

The Term Of Your Car Loan Should Be No More Than Four Years

The longer the term of your loan, the more interest you pay. The longer your loan term, the longer youll have to meet your lenders insurance requirements, which often means higher rates.

Plus, by the end of four years, your car will have lost a lot of its value, and you wont want to still be paying it off.

Four years is the maximum most personal finance experts recommend. If you can swing paying off your car in three years, thats even better. If you feel you absolutely must stretch your payments further, you could get a five-year loan, but never longer.

Read Also: How To Protect Your Car From Hail Outside

Disadvantages Of A Used Car

Without the proper information, buying used can come with some uncertainty. Purchasing a vehicle that has had a previous owner raises questions about how it was cared for and whether it sustained any damage. You can rely on a pre-purchase inspection and a CARFAX Canada Vehicle History Report to give you detailed insight into the vehicles past.

Its important to know about maintenance and damage history when you are car shopping but its also key to find out if the car has an active lien. A lien is an interest in a vehicle that is granted to another party as collateral, and this can be enforceable against future owners of the vehicle. CARFAX Canada reports can alert you to outstanding liens on a vehicle, which will give you confidence and peace of mind that youre making a smart purchase. Get more information about liens here.

Buying new or used is a personal decision that most people will make sometime in their driving career. To decide, make a list of your top priorities and concerns and consider the information provided here.


CARFAX Canada provides the most comprehensive and reliable vehicle history reports in Canada, giving you peace of mind when you purchase a car. Never buy a car without a CARFAX Canada report.

What Car Size Would Be Right For Me

Should I Buy This Expensive Car?

Determining which size car is best for you depends on how you plan to use it. Large trunks and cargo areas can accommodate bags of groceries, luggage, sports equipment and even furniture. Cars with rear seats that fold down provide additional space. A large family may require a three-row SUV that can seat between six and eight people comfortably, while a single person may find that a small, fuel-efficient car is the best fit.

Your location can also influence the size of car that you need. City dwellers may want a small car that is easy to park. An SUV or a pickup truck may be more practical in a rural area, especially where roads are not paved.

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Start With A Research Tool

CarsGuide offers an interactive tool that generates a list of potential cars for you to buy. Still, my recommendation is to take your time and do your research. But this tool will help you fine tune your thinking on what kind of car you want and need. It uses three simple questions:

  • Which car fits your lifestyle?
  • Whats your budget ?
  • Whether you want a new car or a used car

For the lifestyle question, you can choose from the broad categories of small, medium, or large.

You can also choose from more detailed categories. Things like a family car, sports car, city car, off road car, or utility vehicle are available to select.

Once youve answered these three questions, they generate a list of potential cars for you. It comes complete with photos and descriptions of actual cars for sale.

Talk about easy.

Remember though this shouldnt be your only source for research. Use it as a starting point.

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