Before buying a new car, use this checklist to make sure you know what you’re getting into and what your options are as a consumer and new car owner.

Do you really need a brand new car?

The first thing to ask yourself is whether or not you need this new car. Would it be better for you to buy used?

Find Models that Hold their Value

Cars lose over half their value once you drive it off the lot. Look for German, Korean or Japanese cars, like BMW, Kia or Nissan.

The Best Time to Buy a New Car 

Avoid weekends, start of the month, or the beginning of a salesman three-month sales targets. February and March are the months you’re likely to find the best deals.

Think of the Car you Need, not the Car You Want

Ask yourself these questions…

  • Do I need a large boot?
  • Do I want anything personalized on my vehicle, like a private number plate? Find examples of personalized plates from Absolute Reg.
  • Should I get an eco-friendly car?
  • What specifically do I need this car for?
  • Is it fuel efficient?
  • Petrol, or Gas?
  • Short city drives or highway?

Find the Cheaper to Run Cars

Look for things like a smaller engine, petrol cars instead of diesel, manual cars instead of automatic, hybrid cars as they’re cheaper to run, C02 emissions and smaller cars as they’re cheaper to insure.

Consider Buying Pre-Reg

You can save up to 70% on the listed price is you find cars that have technically had one owner. The way this works is dealers will buy cars and register them to meet the targets of the month or quarter. A dealership will then sell the car to you for dirt cheap.

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Look for a Run-Out Model

Run-out models are cars that are going to be replaced with the new years model. You can get up to 30% off the original price this way.

Think how Much this Car will Cost in the Long Run

Ask yourself how much these will cost…

  • Upfront costs.
  • Finance repayments.
  • Fuel.
  • Tax.
  • Car Insurance.
  • Servicing.
  • Parking permits.
  • Tires, repairs etc.


Don’t ever buy your new car for the asking price – always try to talk the salesman down to something more affordable by haggling.

Really Think About the Extras on your Car

Cruise control, Bluetooth, sat-nav and alloy wheels are really cool, but will cost extra. Ask yourself if you really need them.

Take the Car for a Test Drive

Ask yourself these questions…

  • Is driving comfortable?
  • Try different routes.
  • Do an emergency stop to check brakes.
  • Check the brakes and clutch.
  • Does it veer?
  • Will it fit a child seat?
  • Bonnet, doors and boot.
  • Is there enough space?
  • Is the drive smooth?
  • Is the car powerful?
  • Engine noise?
  • Check suspension.
  • Will it fit in your garage or parking space?


Paying on your credit card (even if it’s only a penny) can offer you extra protection. Also ask about the manufacturers’ warranty, as some manufacturers have warranties that last for up to seven years.