Five simple money-saving tips for drivers when buying a car

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To help those looking to buy a car, experts at Bristol Street Motors have outlined some top tips on how to save some money. Interest in new cars remained at its strongest during the first month of the year, with searches for used cars also increasing by 49 percent, compared to last year.

And while the data suggests that people are eyeing up their next car, many do not know how to find the best bargain.

Recent research found that 46 percent of new drivers don’t know what they’re looking for when buying a car, from specifications to getting the right price.

If drivers are not sure how to get the best deal on the search for their next car, motoring experts at Bristol Street Motors have provided their five top tips to help motorists save money.

1. Don’t let insurance premiums and repairs catch you out

The cost of buying a car is not just about meeting the asking price. You also need to sort out insurance for your motor, which can rise to eyewatering annual amounts.

Models that have an economical engine (for instance 1.2 or 1.4 litres) usually end up being significantly cheaper to insure than performance models (as well as cheaper to run).

Certain brands can only be repaired at specialist shops, as well, so take that into account before purchasing.

2. Motors with excessive mileage are less fuel-efficient

Any time you buy a car, you should always consider resale value. If you find a model that will sell well on the used car market, that is a better money-saving investment than a model that typically struggles to drum up buyers.

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Along with make and model, check the mileage if you’re trying to save money in the long term.

Mileage is more than a number – it’s an indicator of a car’s condition. If a motor has high mileage, for example, it’s more likely to experience those wear and tear issues that require a visit to the garage.

A car with 100,000 miles on the meter might be cheaper in the car showroom, but it’s going to cost you a lot in terms of repairs and running costs (cars with excessive mileage are typically less fuel-efficient).

It will also be tougher to sell on the used car market once you’ve clocked up your own additional mileage.

3. Bright and bold cars lose value faster than other colours

While it may seem like a trivial choice, picking the perfect paint job for your car has an impact on resale value and general maintenance.

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Lime greens, burnt oranges, and sunshine yellows might speak to your personal tastes, but they are notoriously difficult to sell on the used car market.

That’s because, as a more niche choice, it’s tricky to find willing buyers, forcing you to lower the asking price or wait longer for a suitable offer.

Lighter colours, such as white or grey, can also impact upkeep, with mud and dirt appearing more clearly on these softer shades.

4. Buy the car that best suits your day-to-day – and bin off the extra features

To save as much money as possible on your purchase, you need to think specifically about how you’re actually going to be using the car, rather than how you might use it.

For example, if you need a used car for commuting into a city centre office, you might be better off with a nippy three-door that costs £5,000 rather than a 4×4 on the market for £10,000.

On the other hand, if you’re doing the school run every day, then it makes sense to pay more for the space.

It’s about focusing on the essential travel requirements of the car, instead of being distracted by the potentially expensive features that drive up the asking price.

5. Diesel cars are a more economical choice for regular motorway drivers

When comparing costs for all the different car sales, don’t forget about fuel. Not only is it the biggest outlay you’ll spend on your car, but these costs differ wildly from model to model.

The higher the mpg, the further you can drive on a full tank of fuel, resulting in fewer visits to the petrol station.

Typically, diesel cars offer a better fuel economy, although petrol prices per litre are cheaper than diesel.

This comes back to the point about prioritising the essentials. If you’re only completing short journeys, then opt for a petrol engine, whereas diesel models are more cost-effective for regular long-haul drives.

Of course, you can forgo fuel altogether and buy an electric car. The upfront costs might be higher than petrol and diesel models, but they are generally cheaper to run based on fuel and maintenance costs.

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