Prospective purchasers are able to choose from many good deals when they go car-hunting, from dealers, brokers and car supermarkets.

The quality of modern cars, together with special deals such as zero per cent or low rate finance available from some manufacturers from time to time, or free insurance and competitive prices, all add up to an attractive package for buyers, whatever their requirements.

It is extremely important, however, to use a reputable dealer or broker when buying new cars, pre-registered cars, nearly new cars or used cars.

There are many things to take into consideration when looking for new and nearly new cars to make sure that you buy the right vehicle to meet all your requirements:

  • Do you make long or short journeys?
  • Do you normally carry just people or goods, or both?
  • Are you looking for automatic or manual transmission?
  • Do you want a small engine for economy or larger engine for power?
  • Fuel type – petrol, diesel, or alternative fuel?
  • Is it to be a family car – do you have children?
  • Doors – two, three, four or five door?
  • Type of vehicle – hatchback, coupé, saloon, estate, MPV (multi-purpose vehicle), sports, roadster or SUV (sports utility vehicle)?
  • Check what extras may be available with the car, such as air conditioning, alloy wheels, leather interior, sunroof, satellite navigation, mobile phone hands-free
  • Bluetooth capability, multi CD changer, MP3 player etc.
  • Also bear in mind the C0² levels produced within the exhaust emissions by the car, as this will determine the rate of road tax payable. If the car is provided to you as a company car then the C0² emissions will also influence the amount of tax that you pay.

When comparing deals always use the manufacturer’s advertised on-the-road price, which is made up of the basic ex-works price, value added tax (VAT), number plate, delivery charges and road fund licence, and first registration fee.

New cars

Brand new cars, ordered from, and supplied by, a franchised dealer direct, or through a broker. The dealer will usually arrange for the vehicle’s first registration, in your name, on your behalf. A newly-registered car is sold with at least a full three year manufacturer warranty.

Pre-registered new

These are new cars which have already been registered in the dealer’s name with the DVLA, so you can’t choose colour or specification. However, a pre registered car should be considerably cheaper than a new car with a discount and the saving will vary from car to car, but if you shop around savings of up to 10% to 15% are possible. Do check when the car was first registered, whether you will get the same warranty terms and that there will be no delay in getting the registration transferred into your name. The seller should send the V5C form to the DVLA as soon as the car changes hands.

Nearly new

The definition of nearly new cars is unregulated in the UK, but generally it shouldn’t be over say, 2 years old, and should be much cheaper than a brand new car.

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