Does this sound like you?
You fancy a ‘new’ car and you’ve decided that 2016 is the year to do the deal. But it’s complicated. You have a sad-looking car to either sell yourself or trade in, your finances are stretched and you can’t afford to end up with a used car disaster like some people you know did…
You want to look good in it of course so a brand new car would be most impressive but what about the depreciation? What makes are best and how far should you haggle? Maybe you’d be best taking a man with you to sort this out for you?
Clearly you are in need of some down to earth car buying advice before you embark on one of your most expensive shopping sprees for years… so here are a few FOXY DO’S and DON’TS to help you enjoy the experience without needing a man to tell you what to do or pay of course.
FOXY CAR BUYING DO’s
Let’s start with the good news… women are just as good at buying cars as we are holidays and kitchens. It’s just that many of us lack the same insight or confidence so here are a few insider tips to add to your natural shopping ability.
DO plan ahead – if you buy a brand new car in a franchised dealership at the end of a sales quarter (ie March, June, September & December) you’ll likely do better than at other times because of sales and commission targets.
DO stick to ‘must have’ features before you go car shopping like size of car, number of doors, running costs (mpg, insurance, VED), gearbox preference, fuel and any essential features such as satnav and reverse parking sensors…
DO find out about ‘leasing’ a car (often called Personal Car Purchase PCP plans) for a ridiculously low monthly rate compared to using cash or HP. A growing number of motorists do this, it is the modern way, so why not you?
DO know how much your ‘old’ car is worth by using an online valuation service before discussing a trade in value with the dealer (which will be easier to organise/coordinate with a new car arrival).
DO compare car warranties – the longer the better of course. Check if the policy is part of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s Approved Vehicle Warranty Products Code for advice and conciliation in future, should things go wrong.
DO insist on an HPI check or equivalent, before buying any used car (in case of insurance write off/remaining financial debts) and study any previous MOT and servicing history for imminent problems.
DO take a friend with you on a test drive and ask her to fill in a back seat checklist for you whilst you concentrate on driving…
Finally, be sure to check EVERYTHING works (including onboard gizmos) when taking delivery of your new car. If you can’t do this on D (delivery) Day, write this on the handover sheet and be sure to check your car asap.
FOXY CAR BUYING ‘DON’TS’
We’ve all heard about things going seriously wrong with used cars, usually just outside their warranty. So, no matter how shiny the car is, remember that the dealer probably knows more about the credentials of the car you are looking at than you do. So if he’s willing to give you a dramatic discount at whim, it mightn’t be to do with your personal charm or negotiating power…
Even so, women CAN negotiate as good a deal as most men providing they are pre-armed with inside knowledge, a lot of homework and the time to plan this properly. So here are some wise words, based on experience, to hopefully help you buy a great value for money car that’s safe, reliable and economic to run.
DON’T think you can buy a new car in a week. Yes you probably can, but if you cut corners in your selection you’ll likely end up living with a second-rate car for a long time before you can afford to go car shopping again.
DON’T assume that cash will always get you the best brand new car deal. Dealer finance can be VERY attractive – always check this option before rejecting it and see what the finance cancellation clauses are in case you change your mind early on.
DON’T assume you can’t get car finance simply because a manufacturer bank says no. Oh yes you can, when you know where to go.
DON’T admit you’ve fallen in love with a particular car – this weakens your negotiating hand in a showroom.
DON’T buy any car that performs badly in a Top 100 car survey – unless you want to find out why of course.
DON’T delegate the test drive to a partner – if it’s to be YOUR car it must be right for YOU! Check for your visibility and seat comfort above all. Many cars just seem to be designed for taller people – which is fine if you are one, of course…
NB: It’s totally understandable to be nervous about test-driving an unfamiliar car in an unfamiliar area with an unfamiliar man!! Why not ask for the car to be delivered to your home instead for 24 hours? Or for a cheerful female member of staff to go with you if preferred?
Finally DON’T put up with second rate customer service at any shopping stage. If the car sales person can’t give you what you want or seems disinterested, ask to talk to the Dealer Principal (that’s the title of the equivalent of a Managing Director in auto speak) and if that fails – walk out and shop elsewhere. Your time is too precious…
There are personal car shopper services to do all this for you for a fee, if you prefer.
But if you decide to DIY and want your hand holding through the car buying process, you’d do well to join FOXY Lady Drivers Club and benefit from our shared experiences, support services and this sort of independent advice about all motoring-related matters.
And you can always search through our FOXY Lady Approved dealer network for a personal service that won’t dare overcharge, patronise or sell you something you don’t need.’
Or choose one of our new car discount schemes…