Drivers urged to do their homework before buying a new 66-registration car

PUBLISHED: 15:18 17 August 2016

Car salesman

Car salesman

Archant

September is one of the busiest times of the year for buying a new car, so ahead of next month’s 66 registration Motor Codes, the leading provider of Codes of Practice and Alternative Dispute Resolution for the automotive industry, has the following advice for consumers.

Buying a vehicle face-to-face or online through a dealership or independent garage offers you the most protection with the least risk. Also, by opting to purchase from a retailer, you are covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which came into force last October.

It’s all well and good reading reviews, but the only way to really find out if a car is right is to get behind the wheel. Taking it for a test-run also allows you to get a feel for how it will fit in with your lifestyle and daily commitments, and help determine the specification and the space that you need.

Warranties can vary in length depending on the brand. There is a common misconception that the warranty can be invalidated if a car is serviced outside of the main dealer network. If a garage follows the manufacturer’s prescribed servicing schedule and uses genuine parts during the work, this will not be the case thanks to existing European Block Exemption laws.

For added peace of mind, check to see whether the warranty provider is subscribed to a Code of Practice such as that offered by Motor Codes, and if the retailer is signed up to a recognised Service and Repair Code when it comes to doing any maintenance work. If you have purchased the car from a franchise dealership with a fixed-price service plan, then you must take it back to one of the brand’s participating dealers for servicing throughout the duration of the agreement.

Choosing a car is exciting and it’s easy to get carried away. Remember, it’s not only about being able to buy the car, can you afford the running costs? Check fuel consumption, insurance group, road tax, servicing and parts. Finance agreements are now the most popular way of buying a vehicle, and you should consider affordability both in the short and long term, as circumstances may change, and payments could become harder to make.

When you are ready to go ahead, the price on the windscreen is often indicative. Sales staff frequently have some room for negotiation, so it is worth discussing a reduction. Before agreeing the final number, ask about delivery costs and options such as floor mats which could be included in the package. Finally, read the small print before signing any documentation, and never feel pressured.

If you are part exchanging your old car, there are plenty of guides available on the internet, such as Parkers and Auto Trader, that will allow you to get an idea of what constitutes a fair price based on age, mileage and condition.

Bill Fennell, managing director of Motor Codes, said: “For many, a car is often the second biggest purchase after a property. As with any big commitment, motorists should avoid rushing any decisions. They should instead take the time to read up and ensure that it meets their long-term requirements and finances, and make a concerted effort to examine the small print to avoid any repercussions at a later date.”

For more information on Motor Codes, visit www.motorcodes.co.uk.

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