Ombudsman’s top buyers tips

The Motor Ombudsman is urging motorists to do their homework when it comes to choosing their ideal car and retailer, following the introduction of the new 67-registration on 01 September.

With so much choice on offer, the automotive dispute resolution provider has compiled the following top tips to guide motorists through the new car purchase process.

A wide range of body styles are on the market today, and so it’s worth thinking ahead as to how you plan to use the vehicle, whether it’s for pleasure, carrying the family around or if it’s simply for the daily commute.

Models will often come in several variants, with different sized engines and a choice of petrol, diesel or an electric motor. As this will impact the longer-term running costs, check the fuel economy figure (mpg), the annual road tax (which is based on CO2 emissions) and the insurance group classification.

With electric vehicles fast gaining popularity, there are different factors to take into consideration compared to when buying a petrol or diesel-powered car. Look at what range is covered between charges, where the main charging points are, what the cost is to replenish the battery and how long it takes. This can determine which models will best suit your lifestyle.

The internet also makes for a useful tool in finding first-hand customer feedback about a car or retailer. Use this to your advantage by reading and watching some road tests to get an idea of what a make or model is like, and shop around to find out what you can get for the money that you have put aside for the car.

When buying a new car, there are often added incentives to lower the initial cost of ownership. This can come in the form of free servicing for a specified period or a vehicle warranty which can be for as much as seven years.

On the day of collection, ensure the bodywork is free of any scratches and scuffs, and the specification should be in-line with what you ordered. Just as importantly, make sure that you are given all the correct paperwork, including the final invoice, a receipt of any payments, the V5C registration certificate, and the drive away insurance policy.

Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and managing director of The Motor Ombudsman, said, ‘In-depth research is critical when it comes to buying a new car as it’s a significant purchase. It’s therefore essential that the vehicle itself ticks all the boxes, and it’s just as vital that consumers have the confidence that the retailer will provide them with the highest level of service and quality during the purchase process and beyond. This is where being accredited to a Code of Practice can make all the difference for a business versus the competition.’