When you’re buying a car, everyone is full of advice.

Welcome or not, your head can soon be filled with lots of conflicting information.

New or used? Finance or lease? Warranties, service packages, features and economy. With so many options and often a lot of money involved, buying a car can feel a bit daunting, and you aren’t alone. Panic not! We’re here to help with our easy guide to buying a car that should make the experience altogether more enjoyable. Step right this way…

Side view of blue Volkswagen Polo parked on a street


Like it or not, the main deciding factor in choosing a car often comes down to the bottom line - cash. While there are a number of different options for funding your car, you’ll need to think about exactly how much you can afford to spend on a car each month, for example:

Don’t forget that your car-buying budget needs to take into consideration running costs, such as insurance, fuel and servicing, etc, as well as unexpected expenses, like repairs and replacements. It’s always a good idea to have a small amount set aside for such emergencies.

Car Features

  • Must have. e.g. 7 seats; Bluetooth; parking sensors
  • Nice to have. e.g. hands-free tailgate; leather interior; climate control
  • Preferred body style. e.g. SUV, MPV, saloon, city car or convertible
  • Fuel economy and insurance. Two of the biggest expenses when running your car. Your retailer should be able to advise on the approximate costs of these
  • Take a look at a variety of car reviews to find a model that you think might meet your needs

New, nearly new or used

There are many advantages of a brand new car, but buying a nearly new or used car can mean that you’ll get more features for your money.

You’ll also need to factor in any delivery charges to the cost of the car.

So, what’s the deal with each option?

  • New: Often offers incentives, including 0% finance, deposit contributions, free insurance & servicing.
  • Nearly New, Pre-Registered: A new car, with the previous owner being the car dealership
  • Nearly New, Ex-Demo: A display or test-drive car, well looked after by a member of dealership staff.
  • Used: May have several previous owners. Wide range of choice, with high spec at a fraction of the cost of new.

Try before you buy

You probably wouldn’t buy a t-shirt without trying it on, so don’t buy a car without a test drive. Things like comfort, handling and practicality will play a role.

If you need to transport a pram, wheelchair or set of golf clubs, bring them with you to the test drive so you can try out the car for size. Don’t forget that if someone else is going to be driving the car, they’ll need to try it out too.

White Honda HR-V exterior driving down the road
Yellow Volkswagen Golf MK 8 Parked on the side of the street

Paying for your new car

Finance, loan, cash or part-exchange - there are lots of payment choices for your new car. You’ll be able to discuss and compare all of the options at any good car retailer and work out a payment plan that’s suitable for your personal circumstances.

Part-exchange - trade in your existing car as part-payment on your new car. Use cash, loan or finance for the rest of the cost.

Loan - from a bank, building society or finance provider. Shop around to find the best interest rate.


  • PCP - fixed monthly payments over 2-5 years. Ownership is complete on payment of a large final payment (Guaranteed Future Value) or return the car at the end of the contract. More info on PCP, here.

  • HP - fixed monthly payments over 2-5 years. Ownership is complete at the end of the contract.

Remember Bring a friend or family member with you when discussing the options.

Stick to your budget.

Make sure that you’ve researched extras and add-ons so that you’re getting all that you need in a car and aren’t paying for a feature that you may not use.

Don’t be afraid to ask about extended warranties, service packages and anything that might make your car ownership easier, like on-the-road packages including insurance and road tax.

Enjoy years of happy motoring!

For more help with choosing your next car, visit your local Swansway Group dealership for great deals on new, nearly new and used cars, test drives and motoring advice.

We can’t wait to see you.

Enquire to find your perfect vehicle



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