Ever wondered how on earth you’ll be able to afford a new set of wheels? Well, it’s not easy. But we’ve come up with 6 tips that could help towards lowering the cost of your new car.
1. Have a price in mind before you head out
Just because you’re borrowing money to buy a car doesn’t mean you should accept the price on the windscreen. Before hitting the showrooms, check out the ‘target price’ of your dream car online and aim for something as close to this as possible.
2. Think about value for money
Certain types of cars will be better value for money than others. If you’re willing to live with a different feature or model, you could find a car that makes your money go further, even if it’s not as high a specification as you had initially planned. For example, petrol cars tend to cost less than diesel to buy; smaller engines bring the cost of the car down; and manually operated cars tend to be cheaper than automatic.
3. Make the most of dealers’ targets and pick your timing carefully
Some months are better than others for buying a new car. All dealers have targets to meet, which are usually based on their quarterly sales targets. The end of March, June, September and December tend to be good times to buy, when sales assistants are more likely to offer better rates to secure their bonuses.
4. End of the line models
If you’re not in a desperate hurry to get the latest version of a new car, there are significant savings to be made. ‘End of line’ models often boast discounts of up to 30% on the original price.
5. Your credit score can get you a better car finance deal
If you’re planning to buy your car using credit, your credit score comes into play. Generally speaking, the higher your credit score, the more likely it is you’ll be accepted for car finance, and at the best interest rate. So checking your credit score and report regularly and taking steps to improve it, could help you make big savings on any money you borrow.
6. Planning ahead
One other way to try and cut down on the cost of car finance is to choose the car you want a few months in advance. This way, you can start to plan (and improve) your credit worthiness before you go anywhere near a forecourt.
Generally speaking, the more time you have to improve your credit score the better. There are always quick things you can do to boost your score, but not every change you make will have an instant impact. So the more time you have to work on your score the better.
Our [5 minute monthly checklist] will help you get into the habit of regularly checking your credit score and report.
SOURCES: *Based on one of ClearScore’s car loan partners CreditPlus’s estimations of what APR you are likely to be offered based on your credit score, with a 10% deposit on a £25,000 loan over five years