New Driver? 5 Ways to Save Money at the Dealership

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Now that you’ve passed the test, the open road is ahead of you. The only snag is that you need to find the perfect set of wheels for the occasion that won’t break the bank. 

Along with high insurance premiums and mounting pressure to go green, simply popping down to your local dealership and bagging a bargain isn’t as simple as Hollywood would have you believe. But, it is possible. 

Money might be tight, but there are plenty of ways for your to save yourself some cash at the dealership. Read on to find out how:

Set a budget

Before you make any decisions about the type of car you want, you need to figure out what you can afford that won’t leave you high and dry after you’ve visited the dealership. After all, there’s no point getting a flash set of wheels if you can’t afford to run it. But, don’t just budget for the cost of purchase. Consider:

  • Car insurance: new drivers get high insurance premiums
  • Road tax: unless you plan on buying a tax-exempt car such as an electric vehicle (EV)
  • MOT: any vehicle older than three years has to have an annual MOT by law to ensure its roadworthiness
  • Fuel: even if you choose to go green, you need to think about keeping your motor running and how much it costs!

Whatever your budget, make sure you stick to it. 

Do your research

Different vehicles come under different tax categories, and some will incur higher insurance premiums regardless of how long you’ve been on the road for. Beyond that, if you have a particular car in mind, then you need to know how much it is likely to cost. So make sure you check out various car selling pages, so you know what to expect. 

Being armed with knowledge ahead of your visit to the dealership will ensure you get the best price for the vehicle you want. 

While it’s tempting to bag yourself a bargain through a private sale, buying through a reputable dealer will ensure that you are protected. Some of the perks include:

  • You can purchase either a new or quality secondhand vehicle with car finance
  • The manufacturer’s warranty covers you if something goes wrong
  • Most dealerships will offer you a servicing package
  • Try before you buy: you can book a test drive to ensure you are happy with the car and can walk away if you are dissatisfied in any way

Consider car finance

Buying a car is not cheap. Whether you go down the secondhand route or want something straight off the showroom floor, paying for your motor out of your own pocket is a dent in your bank balance that, for most of us, just isn’t possible. That’s where car finance comes in. 

Broken down into monthly instalments, you can keep on top of all your spending habits in affordable chunks. Whether you opt for a personal loan from a lender or your bank or want to lease a vehicle, there are plenty of options to choose from that fit with your lifestyle. 

But how does your credit score affect your chances? Built from ongoing payments such as mortgage and repayments on goods such as furniture, electricals and more, your credit score rating is based on how well you pay back what you have borrowed. However, as a new driver, you may not have much of a credit score to speak of, and in turn, have a poor or bad credit score. 

Fortunately, there is a range of reputable bad credit lenders that take all of your personal, individual circumstances into account when you apply. So you too can get all the perks such as warranty, servicing, trim options, colour and more, when you purchase your vehicle with car finance. 

Consider buying the showroom model

All dealerships will have a selection of “stock” vehicles used for test drives and to fulfil their own showroom display quotas. Often these vehicles will make it to the end of the line as a fixed 0% finance deal attached.

Yes, there will be a few negligible miles on the clock, but if you want to bag yourself a deal without having to put down a deposit, this is well worth a look. There is usually less room to haggle, and you can’t miss a single payment as this may hoick up your monthly payments without notice. But don’t let that put you off!

Green incentives

The UK and most major governments around the globe are working towards a zero-emissions future, and the time for buying a new petrol or diesel vehicle is quickly running out. On these shores, you will no longer be able to buy a new traditional combustion engine car from 2030 onwards, and even the sale of new hybrids will be axed in 2035. 

While you can still snap up a classic banger from the used car market, the pressure is on to invest in greener motors. With several schemes in place to make EV’s more affordable, such as limited manufacturer deals and Plug-in grants, there’s never been a better time to go electric.

Plus, in any city you drive in from London to Edinburgh, Bristol to Liverpool, you will quickly clock up inner-city emissions charges if your car doesn’t meet the strict standards. 

As a new driver, you are in a prime position to buy an electric vehicle (EV.) You have less of a commitment to older styles of driving, and let’s be honest, you need to think about your future on the road, perhaps more than older drivers. Dealerships are well aware of this too. So make sure you are prepared with all the information about grants and schemes available to get you on the EV ladder. 

Buying your first car as a new driver is a thrilling and often daunting experience. But by simply budgeting and doing your research ahead of your visit to the dealership, you will snap up an absolute bargain that won’t break the bank!

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