When it comes to buying a car you don’t simply just go to your local dealership and drive away with the first car you see! It’s a big decision and requires some time, research and a lot of vigilance to ensure you don’t get ripped off and end up with a decent vehicle that will get you from A to B safely.  

Buying a car is one of life’s most expensive purchases after buying a house and it’s important to do your research beforehand and take your time with your decision that’s why we have put together this guide to the key factors you need to research.  


This is the first thing you need to do, is work out how much can you realistically afford. Don’t forget to factor in all the costs such as insurance and maintenance etc  

Once you have worked out your budget you need to think about how you will pay for it? The options here usually include cash, credit/debit card, personal loan, finance. You should research all the options and weigh up the pros and cons of each before picking what route to go down.


Think about what you need from the car and why you need it. Is it a family car for driving your little ones to and from school? Is it for work car? For travel? Etc. These factors will help you determine the type of car that will suit you best.

Choose a vehicle

Once you have have gotten to this stage you need to choose what type of car you are going to buy. Will it be new or used? Petrol or diesel?

Research that vehicle

Even after you have chosen the vehicle you want you still have quite a lot research to do yet. It is worthwhile to get a full vehicle registration check. This will tell you quite a bit about the car you are buying such as its running costs, how many previous owners it had, MOT history, if it has ever been written off, if there is any outstanding finance on it and its legal status.    

It is also a good idea to read some online reviews from review websites and forums of the car you want to buy.  

Test drive

This may seem like an obvious tip but you should always take the car for a test drive before agreeing to buy it, this will give you a good idea of what it’s like to drive and if it suits you.