There are some major purchases you’ll make in life that are equal parts exhilarating and nerve-wracking. Buying your first home is one of these, and so is buying a new car. It’s a major expense, and can often mean taking out a personal loan to finance the purchase. As such, it is not something that you should blindly rush into. Whether you’re after a sports car or a family SUV, you need to take your time and consider your options.

In this article, we’ll explore what you should consider when shopping for a new car.

What’s Your Budget?

First thing’s first. You need to sit down and figure out exactly how much you can afford to spend, or what sort of loan repayments you can afford.

If you’re buying outright, you should already have a good idea of your overall budget, as you’ve got that money in the bank in your savings. Then it’s just a matter of picking a make and model that’s within your budget.

But if you’re financing your purchase, you need to figure out how much you can afford to borrow and repay. Some useful calculators are floating around the internet that should help you crunch the numbers. Remember that cars have more running costs than just finance repayments too – we’ll discuss these below.

Insurance – A Must Have

If you’re buying a new car,  you will need to purchase comprehensive motor insurance, which is a non-negotiable cost. As new cars are quite expensive, you will want to be extra sure that you will be covered in case your car is stolen or is in a major accident and becomes a write-off. A comprehensive policy will pay you either the market or agreed value of the car, so you can buy a new one almost immediately. A tip – agreed value might cost you more in premiums but it means you’ll get what you paid for if you write the car off, rather than the market value which will depreciate the value depending on how much mileage the car has. 

It is worth shopping around for insurance quotes. Some providers will offer discounts for signing up online, or if you combine a home and contents policy with your car insurance. They are competitive and want your business, so you can even ask them to beat another insurance provider on price to get the best deal for yourself. 

A Word on Warranties

When shopping for a new car, consider the manufacturer’s warranty offered with the purchase. Most carmakers now offer five, or even seven-year warranties. This means that if anything goes wrong with the engine or other mechanical components of the car, you are entitled to a free repair. Or you might even get a brand new replacement in the case of a significant defect. This gives you peace of mind on the road. 

It’s worth noting that some warranties don’t cover things like tyres, windshields and other parts of the car that can suffer damage, so be sure to read your terms and conditions carefully.

Safety Ratings

Finally, consider the safety rating of the cars that are on your shortlist. You’ll want something with a five-star rating, so you can rest assured that in the unlikely event of an accident, you’ll be safe and sound. The good news is that most new cars come with a high safety rating. 

A Car Buying Conclusion

When it comes to buying a new car, it is important to first determine your budget –  whether you’re buying outright or financing your purchase. Secondly, keep in mind that you must also purchase a comprehensive insurance policy. Finally, pick a brand that offers a decent warranty period, and pay attention to safety ratings. Happy shopping!