Buying the new car you’ve chosen is about more than just negotiating a price. 

Here are some tips to guide you through the process and protect yourself.

Get ready to buy

With dealer purchases:
  • have what you want written down so you can’t be talked into something you don’t need or want
  • always get a firm, written 'on the road' price or change over figure (if trading in) 
  • shop around as many dealers as possible 
  • don’t be afraid to talk up deals you’ve been offered elsewhere 
  • keep notes of what is on offer so you can judge the best deal and include the details in the contract when it comes time to sign up
  • don’t sign a contract or pay a deposit until you are certain the vehicle is what you want and can afford
  • read and understand the sale contract before signing. If you don't understand or agree with the contents don't sign it. 
The dealer must specify all mandatory costs you pay when purchasing a vehicle. This should include the sum of:
  • the actual price of the vehicle
  • duty
  • dealer delivery charges
  • any other fees that must be paid before receiving the vehicle.
Make sure you are aware of the full cost of the vehicle, including add-ons such as window tinting and rust proofing.

Dealers will often offer a better price on new cars they have in stock. If you want a particular colour or specific equipment that they don’t have, you may have to wait for one to be ordered and potentially pay more. You may be offered "free" extras to encourage you to buy what they have, but don’t accept substitutes in place of what you really want. 

Determining the right price 

The value of a used car will depend on the car’s:
  • age (year of manufacture)
  • model (basic versus luxury)
  • general condition
  • kilometres travelled
  • service history
  • post factory modifications or accessories (if applicable)
  • the perceived value of the car to the buyer and seller (market forces)
In reality, there is no "right" price for a used car. Two vehicles of the same make and model can have two different values depending on the factors listed above. 

Research similar vehicles in your area in order to get an idea of what they are selling for. Our Car Price Guide can help, as can newspapers and online car sales sites. 

Get advice 

Contact our motoring advice service for advice on buying your car, vehicle inspections and more.

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