Guest Blog - Andy Dickens, Simplicity Cars
Depending how far you have relocated, whether it’s a few hundred miles or a whole new continent, you might now be left without a vehicle or need a second car to help the whole family get around. When you start looing at the car market it's easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. In the UK at the moment there are over 18,000 different cars to choose from and that’s before you start choosing colours and options. So navigating this can be a stressful job, and can quickly become a part time job while you try and figure it all out.
So to reduce this choice and help you decide the best car for you here are my top 6 mistakes to avoid before you buy your next car:
1.Buying a car unsuitable for your new home
This is quite an obvious one, but the car you would have driven before may be completely
impractical. Think about whether you are living in the city where parking is difficult where a small economical car is the most practical, or if a car is even necessary. A huge 4x4 would be very impractical getting around the narrow streets. If there is a good public transport system, a car maybe completely unnecessary and cost more than it's worth. Or are you going to be in the mountains living off a country track where a 4X4 is a necessity, a sporty convertible would get stuck in snow for several months as it just can’t cope with the local conditions.
2. Looking for your dream car that isn’t as common in your new area
You may quickly find if you have moved to a new country, certain options will be more popular than others and you may have to consider driving a car you may not be as comfortable with. A great example of this is that in the USA cars with automatic gearboxes are more common, where in the UK it’s more likely to be manual gearboxes. Electric cars are more common in some countries especially in countries which place high taxes on highly polluting cars like the Netherlands, but unheard of in others. Also having to drive in cars that feels like getting into a tank when you move from typically smaller cars of Europe to the typically huge ones in USA, can take some getting used to.
3. Taking out long finance deals
Depending on how permanent your relocation is will potentially have an impact on what options are open to you for sourcing a vehicle. You want to be careful in taking long term finance over the 5 years if you are only staying for 3 for example. You don’t want the added hassle of having to try and dispose of a vehicle, or be struggling to get out a finance contract when you are having to plan your next relocation.
You might find that if you have moved to a new country, that you may be unable to apply or take credit for a vehicle due to local regulations. If you can, then try and match a fixed term credit option to help you with a vehicle. There is always hire cars, short term leases or contract hire. Alternatively, you might have to look into initially having to purchase a car outright to get around, so factor in the cost of this when you move.
4. Buying a car too quickly
It’s worth working out what you need your car for and what you really want. You need to think if you need one or more cars, and is there space to park in your new location? Short term you might feel you need a car to get around, but then find afterwards that there are other methods of getting about that work. It’s worth using rental cars for a short while and see works best for you, and will also let you get used to slightly different driving laws and practices, as well as letting you try different types of cars to find the one you like the best.
5. Forgetting to factor in running costs
From Road Tax to MOT’s, insurance, servicing and repairs, and parking permits, there are lots of on going costs you need to budget for which could determine which car is actually affordable for you. And the cost of fuel varies greatly from one place to another and if you are commuting further distances the cost of getting around can ramp up quickly that you will have to factor into your monthly budget. Here is a link to the average petrol prices around the world http://www.globalpetrolprices.com/benchmark/.
You can work out your average annual running cost for your car here. https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/car-costs-calculator
6. Not getting trusted local advice
This can be as simple as perhaps taking a few driving lessons to get used to local laws if you have moved to a completely different country with different traffic laws and culture, or just getting used to driving on country roads if you’ve haven’t driven for years living in a city centre. But when it comes to sourcing a vehicle, it’s worth looking for an independent advisor to help you source a vehicle or to ask about the best way to finance it in the local marketplace. You might find that a conversation with an expert can help guide you to try and translate what you are used to and what is available to match that to options for you. It saves you from having the stress and strain of trying to fit in choosing a vehicle while also settling into a new location! Remember that dealerships are there to sell to you, rather than help give you advice. Check out Parkers for some advice on what to pay for your new car and what to look for.
What mistakes have you made when buying a car? Have you made one of the mistakes listed above? Share your stories in the comments below to help someone else avoid the same thing.
Guest Blog by Andy Dickens, Founder - Simplicity Cars Simplicity Cars is a car leasing company based in Edinburgh. We want your next car to be an easy choice. By providing you with car leasing or van leasing options, we can save you time and money on a new car. As part of our expert advice, we will talk you through why you should lease or buy a car, how leasing works, and if leasing is the best choice for you.