2013 has started with a bang for the car industry with a record number of cars, 1.91 million, being purchased using car finance deals. In fact there’s never been a better time to buy a new car using finance as there are so many attractive offers around, so if you’re thinking about buying a car soon, make sure you get the most from your car finance package before you even start looking.
1. Know your product
Car finance aims to be a competitive and bespoke way to pay for your next car. Car dealers want to get you a good price but still do your homework before you go to the showroom. Car finance is divided into personal and business and then into various categories depending on your need. Packages include Hire Purchase, Conditional Sale, Personal Contract Purchases and Personal Leasing. The most suitable deal will vary according to a number of factors such as the size of your deposit, whether you want low interest rates over a longer period of time, and whether you want to own the car at the end.
2. Know your budget
Before you view any cars, work out exactly what you can afford to pay. Without a clear price range it’s difficult to work out the best car finance package for you. In some cases the difference of a few hundred pounds on a car can really increase your monthly repayments.
3. Shop around
The offer you get with the dealer may be good value but could you get better value elsewhere? Remember you don’t have to use the package they offer you if you can get a better deal elsewhere. So the day before you go to the dealer use the usual price comparison sites to compare prices, as well as speaking to a car finance specialist such as carfinance247.co.uk.
4. Choose an SAF approved dealer
SAF (Specialist Automotive Finance) is a quality mark to make sure you know you are getting the best professional advice. SAF-approved dealers will make sure that you are personally guided through the finance application process, and can help you to make a safe, affordable and appropriate choice that is right for you and your car.
5. Avoid being refused credit
The better your credit rating the better the deal they’ll offer you, so before you even think about the colour of your car, check your credit report. There are several credit report companies such as Equifax and Experian who offer free trials, or you can use carfinance247.co.uk’s free online credit check.
6. Ask an expert
If you have any questions about the right car finance deal for you, how to calculate monthly payments or work out how much you need for a deposit then get expert advice. The FLA (Finance and Leasing Association) have a series of guides and FAQs on their website.