How do I buy a car? Idiot's guide, please!

(8 Posts)
JaneEyreFunfair Sun 16-Oct-16 17:42:59

Husband and I are planning to buy a car, but finding it stupidly challenging. We have been living in London for years, where it's very easy to get by without a car, so neither of us have driven for years.

Neither of us feel confident starting again by test driving a car that's not ours, so buying one from a random seller on AutoTrader seems out.

I had a refresher lesson recently and it went OK. The driving instructor said I didn't really need any more refresher lessons, just practice, which is good, but I can't practice til I have a car.

We went to a local dealership and gave them details of what we were looking for, and they said they'd let us know when something came in. But it's been weeks and they never ring. When we chase, they say they've got something coming in any day now, but it never materialises.

Feeling very frustrated and like we're going round in circles! Does anyone have any suggestions?

We are considering leasing because at least the car would be delivered to us, and presumably we'd know it was in good condition. Is this a good idea?

MigGril Sun 16-Oct-16 17:49:31

We've always had to look ourselves when buying cars. Never found deals that helpful, are you looking for something specific?

Dealers also sell on auto trader so searching on there is well worth it. Within a local area if you want, although we're so fussy with cars we have travelled a couple of hours to get what we want.

UrethaFranklin Wed 19-Oct-16 15:40:55

What are you looking for? Have you only visited the one dealer or have you been to a few? To be honest I think you would be better finding one that actually has what you are looking for rather than waiting for them to find you whatever it is.

Surely you would still need test drive if you bought one from a dealer anyway? Same with leasing, surely you wouldn't buy without trying it first?

AmyBecker Fri 21-Oct-16 11:48:24

Yeah agree with the message above, they shouldn't be messing you around, you're doing them the favour too. Did you say you haven't driven in years? They may be hearing that and thinking they can just take a laid back approach.

(Apologies if you think I'm poaching!) I just know this site does do really well, they ring dealers across the UK and find the car you want and pick the best price. I've put the link in, just depends if you would rather speak to a dealer personally or not www.carkeys.co.uk?76542rh

With the leasing, I never have personally but my sister recently took a car out on finance, worked for her current situation and she hasn't got long left but think she likes knowing that she gets the car at the end of it, but think she pays something around £200 per month for 2 years.

PolterGoose Fri 21-Oct-16 11:53:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

P1nkP0ppy Fri 21-Oct-16 11:59:32

Firstly you need to decide what car and go to a dealer and try one on a test drive. That will confirm your choice or not.
You can ask the dealer to look out for a car you or see where else you can get one.
With my last car I knew what make/size from googling for reviews of the make. I went to a local dealer, test drove one and that was it.
I then went home and told DH who wasn't amused that I'd done it without him 😀😀

Olympiathequeen Fri 18-Nov-16 19:08:08

Firstly you need a list of your requirements. Large car? Small car? Economical? Deisel? How many mpg? What your mileage will be, what type of roads, 4 wheel drive, price range and so on.

Then look for cars that fit that bill. Look online for reviews for the cars on your list. Parkers car guide will give you basic information like mpg so it's worth looking there too.

When you have a short list, (the shorter the better) look online for local dealers. They advertise in auto trader and even on eBay. Make sure the dealer is a large one and reputable. Large dealerships are often nationwide. Be wary of very small dealers. If you are looking for new they are a bit of a ripoff money wise, but it's nice for someone to do all the work for you and you do get a guarantee.

Buying used I wouldn't go more than 2 years old, but ensure you get a warranty at the same time.

Do test drive though

Olympiathequeen Fri 18-Nov-16 19:10:44

If you are really unsure about test driving a car, hire one for a week and practice on that.

Leasing, where you put down a lump sum, pay monthly and either buy or get another new one is a good deal. Expensive but worry free.

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