Top 10 Car Buying Mistakes

What To Avoid

The latest figures from SIMI suggest that car sales were up 26% and Light commercial vehicle sales were up an impressive 56% for the first five months of 2015 compared to the previous year. When you also consider that heavy goods vehicle sales were also up an impressive 38% for the month of May 2015 it is clear that there is a renewed sense of optimism in the motor industry. The simple fact is that people are buying cars again and it would appear the knock on effects are already being felt throughout all major touch points of the motor trade.

But with so many vehicles being sold each month the question now facing you is how can I spot a great deal from a great disaster? Here at Chill Insurance we know a thing or two about helping our customers get a great deal on their insurance cover so here is our top 10 list of the common mistakes to avoid when buying a new motor.

Top 10 Car Buying Tips

  1. Not setting a budget. Starting off you need to know how much you can actually spend. This can involve getting your finances in order. Doing some online research will give you a good idea of what you need to get if you are going with a loan.
  2. Not thinking about the long term. The average length of time, according to www.cartell.ie, that an Irish person holds onto a car is about 3.55 years. If you set a budget for x amount but don’t plan for things like car tax, car insurance and fuel costs then your car can end up costing you a lot more than you might’ve originally expected.
  3. Choosing new over second hand. Your car will lose value once you purchase it and drive away. In fact Edmonds.com suggested that your car’s value may depreciate by as much as 11% the minute you drive it away from the dealership. Although dramatic you should always take into consideration how much your car’s value will drop year on year. Motorcheck.ie did a study of 12,530 vehicles to see what vehicle type had a better resale value after a number of years and it identified that even their ideal suggestion only retained 62% of its original value after 3 years.
  4. Not thinking about your needs. The average Irish car owner holds onto their vehicle for 3.55 years which means you need to think about a lot of things when buy. One of the key things is where you expect to be in that amount of time. Will a small hatchback suit you in four years time or will you need a mid-range saloon instead? No amount of planning can prepare you for every eventuality but it is always best to plan as far ahead as you can.
  5. Like for Like. Likewise sticking with the same model each time you make a new purchase due to an emotional attachment might not always be financially sound. As we mentioned cars can and will depreciate over the course of their life time. Sometimes an expensive and sleekly designed vehicle might be your second best choice after the old reliable more mundane looking car that once looked upon is instantly unremarkable.
  1. Saying no to the test drive. You’re going to be behind the wheel of your car for a long time which is why you need to go for a test drive before purchase. In the world of sales this is known as foot in the door technique because the chances of you purchasing the vehicle may increase if you go for a test drive. Although you may have done your research in advance, if you’ve never been behind the wheel of the vehicle before then a test drive is the best way for you to make sure you don’t make a decision you have to stick with for 3.55 years.
  2. A trade in isn’t trivial. If you are trading up and using your current car as part payment make sure you don’t under, or over, estimate how much you would get for it. Check the price you are being offered by the dealership against what you are being offered in a number of other places to make sure they match up as much as possible.
  3. Not getting it checked. The most recent car I purchased was checked by two different independent mechanics before I purchased it and I also got the vehicle history checked online. Although both these options are common enough you should never overlook their significance and importance. A mechanic can identify if there are any issues with the vehicle that you’re not being told about and the vehicle history check will advise you of how many previous owners your vehicle had.
  4. Setting your one car. Recently a colleague was showing me a car they were looking to purchase and that it was a great deal due to the mileage as well as the vehicle make and model. This conversation happened on a Thursday and the next day the car was sold to another person. Although we are not advising you rush into a purchase, you should be aware that you mightn’t be the only one looking at a specific vehicle so you need to be prepared for missing out on your first choice.
  5. Taking all the extras. Stumping up for a car with added accoutrements doesn’t always mean that you are getting a greater deal. Before deciding to add heated seats perhaps think will you actually need them? If not then you might save some money by going without them.

  6. At the end of the day the decision on which new car to purchase is entirely up to you as is your decision on your car insurance. If you are looking for new cover and have any question just give one of our friendly and helpful team a call on 1890 30 20 20.