New Car Buying Guide

Buying a New Car

Inside tips on driving a great deal

man applying for finance

Step 1 - Do your research

Although buying a new car has fewer pitfalls than buying second hand, it still pays to be well-prepared.

Check online for cars in your price range.

Read reviews - remembering to check safety ratings.

Find out which dealers have specials on - often, travelling a few suburbs over can save you hundreds, or even thousands.

car interior

Step 2 - Check the inside and outside

Once you have a shortlist, go check out the cars. Look both inside and outside to determine:

  • Whether you like the style
  • How much space there is inside
  • If you have kids, whether you can get them in and out easily?

Remember, it’s you who’ll be driving it - you have to be happy with how it looks and feels.

sat nav device

Step 3 - Check the Inclusions

Everyone loves gadgets! Ask the dealer whether the car you’re buying includes:

Power steering, CD/iPod player, Sat nav, Bluetooth, Alloy wheels, The colour scheme you want - and if so, will it cost extra?

Pro Tip: - Some dealers hold new cars on the spot, and some order them in from the manufacturer. This means you’ll probably be looking at a demo version, which may differ from the model you eventually buy.

man test driving car

Step 4 - Test drive

Time to see what it can do! Take it for a test drive that includes a 50-60km zone AND a 100km+ zone (like a freeway or highway). This way, you’ll get a better idea of the car’s all-round performance.

hands shaking car

Step 5 - Do a deal

Time to negotiate a price! Consider:

How the price compares with other cars you researchedWhat’s included? Many dealers include extras like warranties and roadside assist in the price.Is it an on-road price i.e. does it include charges like stamp duty and registration?Does the price include delivery, or will you have to come back and pick it up?

Don’t be scared to drive down the price if you think it’s inflated.

Pro tip: if the dealer includes a warranty, be mindful there may be conditions (such as the car needing to be serviced at the dealership you bought it from).

woman signing forms

Step 6 - Sign the paperwork

When you’re happy you’ve got a good deal, lock it in! But before you sign anything, check the full terms and conditions on:

  • Contract of sale
  • Warranty papers (usually this is for 3-5 years)
  • Any finance contracts

Pro Tip: If you’re financing the purchase, make sure any deal is “subject to finance” - and bear in mind that dealers’ own finance packages often have inflated interest rates. Read the terms and conditions carefully before signing anything.

cars driving on highway

Step 7 - Drive away!

Talk to your insurer and make sure you’re covered from the instant you take possession. Congratulations – and happy cruising!


Do you need car finance to purchase your new car? We specialise in car loans and bad credit car loans.

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