March is the best time to buy a car...just make sure you get the best deal!
With low borrowing costs, low fuel costs and a boom in new models, research by HonestJohn.co.uk shows this is the best time of the year for buyers in search of a bargain.
But, while car buyers will be able to capitalise on new plates and new models, with Ford, Skoda and Volkswagen all releasing their 2015 ranges this month, the more frugal amongst you will know that there is far more value to be found in buying a used car.
According to the AA, if you do 10,000 miles a year, the average new car will have lost around 60% of its value by the end of its third year. Meanwhile, the rise in the number of lenders providing borrowing specifically for car finance, means that the used car market is still as good a place as ever to look for value deals.
James Wilkinson, CEO of Car Loan 4U commented on the car-buying peak,
“We are definitely witnessing the affect of a buoyant market. With the relative price of car ownership being cheaper than it has been for some time, consumer confidence is working hand-in-hand with the rise in the number of lenders.
“Over the past four years, Car Loan 4U has seen the typical APR drop by 3.29% across our lending panel with customers applying for an average loan amount of around £7,000.
“Lenders coming to the market are also offering finance specifically for cars. Unlike an ordinary personal loan, this requires checks on the vehicle to be purchased, as well as the customer affordability, which gives added confidence to an application – both for the lender and the customer. This and the fact there are more lenders about is driving competitive loan deals – we will have 17 lenders on our panel by the end of March, more than ever before.”
Last year, 20% of new cars were purchased in March. This trend is set to continue making March 2015 the most popular time of this year to buy. According to statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 19% of all car purchases for 2014 were registered in March 2014 (a total of 464,824 new cars).
“For anyone considering buying a car, be it a brand new model or second hand, on finance or through personal savings, there are plenty of ways to reduce the cost of the vehicle with a little pre-planning.”
Here’s Car Loan 4U’s top tips to getting the best deal on your new car:
- If you’re looking to part exchange your current vehicle, it’s worth getting a quick repair to any minor dents or scratches before getting a trade-in price. Dealers will look to knock down a listing price if there are any obvious signs of wear and tear which could be more than the cost of doing the repairs yourself
- Give yourself time: if you’re heading to the forecourt then the longer you spend looking for cars at a dealer, the more you appear like a serious car-buyer and the more eager they’ll be to make a sale and take your wishes seriously
- Haggle - Don’t let the dealer know your maximum budget until they put a price on the table first and always come in with a lower price than your prepared to pay to start the negotiation.
- Research thoroughly: it’s important you research the make, model, engine and specification of the car you want. There’s a wealth information online to help you draw up a short list. Try What Car? for starters.
- Test drive your options: even if you’re looking at a private sale, it’s worth finding a local dealer selling a range of similar models so you have something to compare against in real life. You’ve got to know what the car is like behind the wheel
- It’s important to find out your car’s history if buying a second hand car, to understand if there is outstanding finance on the car...or worse still it’s been written off or stolen. Car Loan 4U offers a free vehicle history check and vehicle valuation to all customers.