In recent years, the options for car buying have changed considerably and there are now more options than ever for prospective car owners.
From the proliferation of cheap credit to the advent of buying high-value goods like cars online, buyers are no longer limited either by available finances or geographical location.
However, while there are now undoubtedly many more ways to buy a car, before doing so you should carefully consider your personal circumstances to find the model and method that works best for you.
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If you’re in the market for a new car, below is a rough guide to the more common ways you could make the purchase – plus an overview of the pluses and minuses of each.
Cold hard cash
Clearly, the easiest and simplest way to buy a car is using money, but that doesn’t take account of the fact you’ll have next to zero protection should something go wrong during the purchase or, subsequently, with the vehicle. Nonetheless, buying outright with cash will give you considerable bartering power, plus will mean you drive away as the outright owner with no interest or financial penalties to consider further down the line.
Buy using a credit card
Most people are aware credit cards tend not to offer the best interest rates. However, in most countries, they do come with the added protection of consumer credit protection which could prove a Godsend further down the line should something go wrong with the car or during the buying process.
Nonetheless, you should be mindful of parting with such potentially large sums of money on a credit card and be particularly aware of your ability (or lack thereof) to keep up with your payment schedule. In an ideal world, you should use a credit card for the purchase then pay back the full amount straight away to save incurring interest payments.
Take out a personal loan
A personal loan (sometimes called an unsecured loan) is another option if you’re short of the total purchase price, but, again, you should be mindful of the repayments (including interest) you’ll be expected to make. It’s all too easy to commit to repayments that can result in overstretching yourself so take a second to think about your current outgoings before signing the dotted line.
Car finance is currently the most popular way to buy a new or used car and is, in most cases, the best choice if you can’t afford the full amount upfront. With car finance, you don’t own the car until the full amount has been paid back – rather, the vehicle is used as security against the money you borrow. This model allows you to pay for the car in installments yet still benefitting from the use of it as you pay the money back. Just be mindful that some lenders may limit the permissible mileage during the loan term. Learn more about car credit now.
Hire purchase is another way to pay up the total cost of a car over installments. However, it normally requires the payment of a deposit upfront which might prove prohibitive, depending on your circumstances.