How to save a bit of cash when purchasing your next car

When buying a car, it’s easy to feel as though you are getting ripped off. It doesn’t help that, in the first three years you own a new car, it will lose nearly half of its value, as the MoneySavingExpert website reports. Therefore, ideally, you want to save as much money as you can at the purchase stage.

Here are a few strategic steps you can take to help lower the upfront cost of getting a new car.

Buy an eco-friendly car eligible for government grants

According to statistics shared by the Express, one in three drivers don’t realise that they could save up to £4,500 on an environmentally-friendly car as a result of government grants. 

These grants are available with vehicles of particular emissions and mileage, as the government seeks to help drivers transition to electric cars. The government hopes that, by 2040, all new cars sold in the UK will be electric.

Buy your vehicle via a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) plan

Four in five buyers of new cars now choose to purchase their vehicle in this way, which enables the customer to pick up a whole new vehicle straight away without paying as high a price as an outright purchase would entail. 

With a PCP plan, you would pay an initial deposit followed by monthly instalments for the agreed term you are permitted to fully use the car. As the term elapses, you will have the option of making a final balloon payment to obtain the car permanently.

Consider buying a car used rather than new 

One reason why pre-owned cars can often be bought more cheaply than their brand-new counterparts is that, while minimum prices of the latter are often locked in, this isn’t so much the case with the former.

“The truth is that it’s highly unlikely that a customer will be able to negotiate a discount on a new car as there are fixed pricing structures in place that are set by the manufacturer, which means sales staff have very little flexibility on price,” one car salesman has anonymously revealed to the Mirror.

However, whether you are looking for a used or new car, you should be careful when exactly you look, too. It’s generally a good idea to attempt negotiating a discount on a vehicle in February or August, as these are months when salespeople usually struggle to meet their targets.

Enter some car competitions  

As the saying goes, you have to be in it to win it. Indeed, the more car competitions you enter, the statistically likelier you are to win something. You could be pleasantly surprised by how many competitions like these are regularly run online, giving you repeated opportunities to potentially land a new car.

You could even find that some of these competitions offer a cash prize alongside the car itself – allowing you, if you do win, to spend on a few accessories for that vehicle before you hit the road with it. Just remember to read each competition’s rules carefully before you enter.

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