I don’t know about you, but I rely on my family car. Whether I’m driving to work, taking the children to their dance classes, doing the weekly shop or travelling to the seaside for the weekend, my car gets me everywhere.
Before I bought my car, I thought that new cars were only for the super-rich or the super-successful. I thought a new car would be out of my price range and that my neighbours must have some secret money-making scheme I wasn’t aware of.
In fact, this is not the case, and there are a number of ways that the average family can afford to buy a new car big enough to use for all family matters.
Take a look at my tips to see which option is best suited to you.
Get a car on finance
Most people who buy new cars buy them on finance, as new cars are too expensive for most people to buy outright. There are a number of finance deals such as Hire Purchase (HP) which enable buyers to spread the cost of a vehicle over a period of months (usually from 12 – 60 months). This means that the cost of a car becomes a monthly payment, and the longer you choose to pay it off, the cheaper monthly repayments will be.
Bear in mind, though, you should make sure you can afford to pay for the car each month before you enter a contract, and remember that 60 months is a long time! (5 years in fact). Another thing to consider when applying for finance is your credit rating, as if you have a bad credit history lenders may be wary about lending you cash. If you are concerned about your credit rating you can apply for credit through a bad credit car finance lender such as Clearway Car Finance who will take other credentials into consideration.
Get a grant to cover some of the cost
Free money to cover the cost of a car? Well, sort of.
If you want to buy an environmentally-friendly car such as a hybrid or an electric car, then you can apply for a grant to help you cover the cost. The Government Plug-In Grant is offering anyone 35% off a new car up to a maximum of £5,000 or 20% off the cost of a new van up to a maximum of £8,000.
If you want to take advantage of this grant, now is the time, as it won’t be there forever and hybrid and electric vehicles are becoming more popular everyday.
Scrap or part exchange your old car
Many car dealerships will let you part exchange your old car, and some manufacturers will let you scrap your old car for a discount off a new one, as long as you buy a new car from that same manufacturer. Currently Vauxhall are running a scrappage scheme, so if you’re after a new Vauxhall car, then this could be a really good deal. It doesn’t matter what manufacturer your old car is (it doesn’t have to be a Vauxhall) and as long as you have owned the car for over 90 days you’ll be eligible to the discount.
Now that Vauxhall have brought the scrappage scheme back it is likely that other manufactures will follow suit, so take a look out for any upcoming deals if you’re not keen on Vauxhall cars.
Buy on special offer
The automotive industry is very competitive and you will be able to find deals and special offers no matter where you go. Local dealerships will have seasonal offers, so it is best to spend some time researching to find the right deal for you. Some examples of these types of special offer are low interest rates, a discounted deposit, free insurance or package deals that include tax, insurance and servicing for a number of years.
This tip is possibly the hardest one as it requires some scrimping and saving!
If you don’t think you can afford the cost of a car, then you should think about starting a savings account or cutting down on costs elsewhere. If you are spending £100 on a TV package, for example, you may decide to cancel it and use the cash to finance your car repayments. Whatever you choose to do, always make sure you can keep up payments before you sign the dotted line. Good luck!