With car finance becoming more and more popular, the best deals and best advice can be quite hard to find. In this post we feature a list of the 10 most common pitfalls when consumers try to finance their new car and the tips to make sure you avoid them.

Set a price

So, you’ve got a car in mind, right? And you want it no matter what? Well, that may be the case, but don’t forget your budget. Unless you’re a millionaire the chances are you’ll need to set out a strict limit on what you can pay upfront and on a monthly basis.

A lot of people see a great deal and think they can afford it – but remember, those payments will be coming out of your bank on a monthly basis so make sure you have the finances!
Set a limit and stick to it. That way you will ensure your car finance deal is a happy and relaxing one.

Research

We’re living in a modern era, and with that come the ability to find pretty much any information you desire via several outlets. The internet, when looking for car finance, is probably the best research tool there is. You can sit at home with a brew and a biscuit and browse through hundreds of finance providers.

Without researching you could end up with the first deal that comes along, and how do you know if that deal is a good one or an extortionate one? Use you nous – remember; knowledge is power.

Power in numbers

A lot of people think they can go into an agreement with just the word of the finance provider, but are they as honest as you think they are? There can be a lot of dodgy providers out there, so take a friend with you, let them listen to everything that the deal entails and ask for their opinion.

Even better; take a friend who has had a car finance agreement in the past. Hopefully, with their advice, you will receive unbiased, impartial advice.

Haggle

You don’t like to haggle, do you? It’s ok, hardly any of us does. But it is one of the worst traits to have when applying for car finance. Why? Well, haggling is a great way of reducing the price of your deal. Whether it’s a lower monthly payment or something chucked in for free, haggling could save you a fortune.

Not every company will comply, but if you never try, you’ll never know.

Extras and warranty

Asking questions is the biggest pitfall most people forget to do. Just by asking a few questions can clear up any confusion and ensure you receive what you thought you’d receive. Does the car come with a warranty – if so, for how long? What does it cover? Is it free? All these questions should be asked before you sign.

Remember, always read the small print. It could save you a lot of frustration in the future.

John Hancock

So, you’re happy with all your agreements with the provider? Think you’ve got an absolute steal? How confident are you that the deal will hold true? If you have agreed certain terms that are aside from the standard deal you should make sure you get it in writing with a signature.

This will ensure that you have proof if anybody disputes what was agreed verbally. It’s your finance deal, so deal with it in a way that provides you with security.

Test drive

Think the provider will shout if you ask for a test drive? Well, if they do, then you know that they are people you probably don’t want to do business with. If need to test drive the car before you own it. After all, how will you know if you like the driving position, pedals or how it drives?

It’s a massive problem that needs to be addressed. Ask for a test drive, get a feel for the car and then sign if you’re happy.

Key-ching

Pretty much every modern day car should come with two keys, and because almost every new car also has central locking, it is essential that you are given both keys. Ask before you sign if the car will come with both sets, if it doesn’t, ask why not.

Again, the moral here is to ask, ask and ask again. If they are an honest company they should comply with everything you ask.

Plenty more fish…

A lot of people think because they’ve started talks with a company they must then finish the deal with them – even if they’re not happy. Rubbish! If the company is doing something you don’t like or you’re not happy with how you’re being treated then leave and don’t come back.

There are plenty of companies looking for your business. It is a buyers’ market, so make use of it.

Take your time

If you’re not sure about certain points in the agreement don’t just sign and think “it’ll be fine”. Because 9 times out of 10, it won’t be. Take the agreement home, have a proper read of the small print in your own leisure time. That way, you can ensure you are 100% happy with everything that has been agreed upon.