If you think you’ve found ‘the one’ after shopping around for your new car, here’s what to do next.
Preparing to buy
Don't feel the need to rush. If you're not sure, take more time to think about your purchase. If you’re buying from a dealership don't sign a contract until you're sure it's the right decision.
A test-drive is an important part of the car-buying process. You should never buy a car without taking the time to drive it first. If test-driving more than one car, try to do them close together so you can make an accurate comparison.
If you’re looking to purchase a used car through a private sale, it’s important to get a PPSR check to ensure the car has no money owing on it. This can be done for a small fee through the government’s PPSR website. You should also consider an RAC Car History Report which gives you a full history of the car, such as whether it has been written off and then repaired, if it’s listed as stolen and also includes the PPSR check. RAC members get 10% off.
When buying a new car, use the ANCAP star-rating guide to select a car that’s safe for you and your passengers. For used cars, the Used Car Safety Ratings guide is your go-to for safety ratings. To make checking the star safety rating of a new car even easier, you can also download the ANCAP app, available for iPhone and Android.
If you’ve never gone through the process of buying a car, the paperwork may seem confusing.
Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification and make sure you read the fine print on your loan contract. Check to see if there are any extra fees and charges associated with your contract that you may not be aware of.
Always be cautious about signing up for extras like paint protection, floor mats and stereo upgrades without doing your research first. It costs extra for an extended warranty, so it’s important to check what this costs and see if the warranty conditions match your needs and how you plan to use the vehicle.
Most used cars purchased through a dealership come with a statutory warranty. Check your paperwork to see if the car you’re buying qualifies for this.
If you’ve bought a used car privately, you must notify the Department of Transport within 14 days of purchasing the vehicle. The transfer papers can be completed online or via a hardcopy form.
Don’t wait until the car’s in your garage to get insurance, because you won’t be covered for the drive home. As soon as you have purchased the vehicle and know the car’s details, make sure you organise insurance. If you're financing your car with RAC Finance, you’ll need fully comprehensive insurance.
Now you've bought your car
Learn to be an even better driver. Choose a quick course and improve your driving skills.
Get your car serviced regularly to keep it in a good and safe condition. It will also help it maintain its value. RAC offers great value and trusted car servicing with member discounts.