Top tips for car buyers

Ahead of one of the busiest months of the year for car buyers, consumers have been encouraged to follow a few simple steps when purchasing a new vehicle.

September is a traditionally hectic time on the forecourts and 2016 will be no different with the introduction of the ‘66’ vehicle registration. Motor Codes, a leading provider of Codes of Practice and Alternative Dispute Resolution for the automotive industry, has urged consumers to follow a few simple rules to protect themselves.

It advices that buying a vehicle face-to-face or online through a dealership or independent garage offers you the most protection with the least risk, while buying from a retailer ensures full cover by the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Motor Codes also says a vehicle’s warranty can vary in length depending on the brand. There is the common misconception that the warranty policy can be invalidated if a car is serviced outside of the dealer network. If a garage follows the manufacturer’s prescribed servicing schedule and uses genuine parts during the work, this will not be the case.

Test drives are also crucial to determining if the car is right for you, while Motor Codes has warned buyers not to break their own budgets – that applies to the cost of the car as well as running costs. Regarding costs, consumers are reminded the sticker price is rarely cast in stone. Sales staff frequently have room for negotiation, and consumers should take into account any other costs such as delivery.

Shopping around is also invaluable in getting the best deal, while trading in an existing car at a garage can be an effective way of reducing the overall cost of a new one. Some new car deals also include breakdown assistance, as well as temporary ‘drive away insurance’ to provide instant cover.

Bill Fennell, managing director of Motor Codes, said, ‘For many, a car is often the second biggest purchase after a property. As with any big commitment, motorists should avoid rushing any decisions. They should instead take the time to read up and ensure that it meets their long-term requirements and finances, and make a concerted effort to examine the small print to avoid any repercussions at a later date.’