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How to buy a car

Searching for a new car can be a stressful process. If you’re single, your decision is generally easier than for someone looking for a family car. After all, you only have yourself to think about.

However, if you have a partner and kids to consider, your car requirements will probably be quite different. Your wife might want safety and reliability, while you may be more interested in how the car looks and performs.

Should you buy a people carrier so you can take your children’s friends places too, or does it offend your driving ego too much to drive a quasi-minibus? It might be better for your psyche to choose a car that still allows you a good driving experience, but has enough space for two or three children in the back, too. There’s plenty of room for all the luggage in the boot, and the children all get a great view of the road as the seats are higher up than in other cars.

If you want to compare a couple of different makes and models, look up fuel types, mileage figures and see what insurance groups your favourites fall into. You can do all of this ‘desk research’ online or with a specialist motoring magazine.

Your next decision is whether you’re going to buy new or second hand.

If you decide to buy new, spend a couple of Saturdays doing tours of the local dealerships in your area. It’s worth taking the time to do some decent research and see what offers are available.

If you do choose to buy from a private seller, try to buy from someone you know and trust. If you don’t know the person you’re buying from, make sure you get the car checked over by a motor engineer. You’ll have to pay for this, but at least then you’ll be able to make an informed offer.


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"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but, 'That's funny..." —Isaac Asimov

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