Rule the Road: The Ultimate Guide to Securing Your Dream Car

When it comes to finding your next used car, people tend to fall into two categories- those who find great pleasure in it, and those who are filled with dread at the very thought of it. No one should be overwhelmed when making this decision. It should be an exciting process, with minimal stress. However, since it’s a biggie, here are my recommendations for your search to empower you to feel prepared when buying your dream car! 

Dealership - Online or in Person? 👫

In recent years, there has been a massive increase in online options for purchasing cars, often including home delivery. Opting for an online dealer can provide the advantage of being protected by the 14-day distance selling regulations, giving you a generous window for a full refund if needed (though keep in mind that returning the car may come with some costs). However, the downside is that you won't get to physically see and test drive the vehicle or check for any hidden issues. Also, forget about haggling on the price; it's typically a take-it-or-leave-it deal.

On the other hand, visiting a physical dealership allows you to experience the car firsthand and take it for a test drive. Just remember that different dealerships have varying policies when addressing issues with the car, so it's essential to check their reviews. If there's an issue with the car, the dealership may ask you to return the car to them for repairs, so choosing a dealership close to home might be beneficial, just in case.

Ownership Costs ✅

Okay, let's talk about the nitty-gritty of car ownership costs. It's not just about the purchase price; there are other expenses to consider. Start by looking at insurance costs, roadside recovery services, and regular servicing expenses. Additionally, if you're buying on finance, take a moment to explore warranty and GAP insurance costs. Remember, life is full of surprises, and your income might change for various reasons. It's always wise to plan ahead and ensure you can comfortably handle these ongoing expenses.

Choosing your car 🚘

When it comes to choosing a car, most people have something specific in mind. But here's something to ponder: your preferences might change over time. Typically, people update their cars every 4-5 years. So, when you're getting a car with finance, consider what you might want at the end of that period. Luckily, with Carmoola, you have the flexibility to settle your loan at any point during the agreement, so, if you ever find yourself itching for an upgrade, you can make it happen.

Do Your Homework  📚 

Before you rev that engine, do some research! While you're fantasising about your dream car, take a moment to look into common faults for the specific model you're eyeing. Find out what issues tend to arise and at what age they typically occur. This way, you'll have a better idea of what to expect and can plan accordingly. Knowledge is power, my friend, especially when it comes to car shopping.

Paperwork - It’s Boring But It’s Important 😴

Ensure important agreements are in writing, such as return policies and warranties. Verbal agreements can be forgotten or misunderstood, so it's crucial to have everything documented for clarity and peace of mind. Review warranty or guarantee information carefully. Understand the coverage, duration, and any limitations or exclusions. Being informed saves you from surprises later on.

Test Drive Tips

During the test drive, observe how the car handles, accelerates, and brakes, and check all the features. As tempting as it is to crank up the volume on your new radio, just this once switch it off so you can listen for unusual noises and rattles. If you spot any issues, communicate them to the seller or dealership and ensure they are resolved before finalising the purchase. Trust your instincts and take your time to make a confident decision, and don’t part with any money until you’re 100% happy, remember there are plenty more fish in the sea and you want to be happy with your fish 🐟

As you venture into the exhilarating world of car hunting, keep these points in mind. Whether you choose an online dealer or prefer the traditional dealership experience, weigh the pros and cons. Consider how your car preferences might evolve over time, and don't forget to factor in the various ownership costs. Lastly, arm yourself with knowledge about common faults to avoid any surprises down the road.

At Carmoola, we're here to guide you through every step of the car finance journey. With us, you'll be empowered to buy from a dealership or online like a cash buyer. Say goodbye to spending hours filling in paperwork and the fear of being rejected for dealership finance. With Carmoola, you'll walk in knowing your budget, APR, and what your monthly payments look like before you start your search. So, fasten your seatbelts, and let's find that perfect ride together! Happy car shopping! 🚗💨