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I am currently looking for a new car and thought I would share a bit about that with you and why I find it a stressful time! Do you know much about cars or are you a bit useless like me?

Why do I need a new car?

We currently have a Vauxhall Grandland X on the Motability scheme but are looking for a new car as the lease on that one is soon up. Whilst it is possible that we will sign up for another vehicle on the scheme, they are quite expensive so I have been looking into the idea of buying a car instead of leasing this time.

I am undecided as to whether we need a new or used car, my feeling is that either would be ok as long as it isn’t too old and perhaps has a warranty. It is years since I looked for a used car so I am a bit unsure and to be honest, I find the whole process quite daunting!

Stuart is much more capable when it comes to cars and knows a lot more than I do, that said I want to be able to choose my car myself to some degree as he chose his! I would love to consider electric cars but they seem so much more expensive I am not sure.

My anxieties around car hunting

Having had a bit of a look already online I thought I should share with you the anxieties I have around finding a car.

Salespeople – I know the talk, they tell you how this is the best size engine or best model for your needs but really it is what they want to sell! I have no real idea what engine size or model I need so prefer to research that online so I have a better idea and can firmly say what I actually want!

Used cars and warranties – if they don’t have a warranty should I buy it? If it has a warranty what doesn’t it cover? All things that salespeople are rarely actually completely honest about.

Fancy functions of the car – I know everything I need to drive but when it comes to a car having certain other functions like ABS or whatever I have no idea what they all mean!

Are different brands really worth more? – Is a Ford really better than a Hyundai or if it has the same engine size is it essentially the same? I am totally clueless and generally choose cars based on colour, style and size! Will they affect the cost of insurance?

My 3 main tips for car hunting

I have been asking friends for their opinions recently and tried to get a bit more understanding of what I need and what I should be looking for. I hope these tips will help some of you too.

Find what you want first

If you can find what you are looking for first it is easier to then compare prices at different dealers. The brand and size probably don’t really make that much difference as long as you have a warranty or buy new.

Check the boot size, whether it has a sat nav system or other things you are looking for before you then choose between dealers. If you view a car to check the boot size at a dealer be sure to tell them you will be back when you have looked around a bit more and don’t let them try to sell to you right away!

Look for reviews and independent websites

If you want to find out how good a car is then look for independent reviews rather than those on the dealer’s website or on sites with lots of ads and sponsored listings.

Sites with sponsored listings and lots of ads from some brands are likely to be easily bought. If the money is right they will promote a particular brand of car or a particular retailer or dealer. I had never noticed this before but on the popular used car listing websites many have sponsored listings and the dealer’s ratings that have those listings are likely to be better than the other dealers!

I recently found that searching for independent reviews of cars is really good and helps you decide if that car has the actual features you want rather than just reading the information the manufacturers or dealer wants to tell you.

In the same way as independent reviews, it is important to check out the dealer you buy from to ensure they are regarded by previous buyers as honest and trustworthy. If they have a reputation for selling poor quality vehicles (like Mr Wormwood in Matilda!) then you need to discover this before potentially buying from them.

I recently found the website Carsnitch which helps you compare different deals with dealer ratings and all the vital information there to compare (price, mileage, manual/automatic, size engine and where the car is located)

Take someone knowledgeable with you

Even if you think you know what you are looking for and the car you would like to buy after having researched online it is still ideal to take someone with you. This is because it is easy for a salesperson to try and upsell you things you do not need.

Do you really need a car with a better engine that is “only £2k more”? Would you benefit from the Diamond Brite service to protect your paintwork? Would you like to sign up for their service policy or find your own elsewhere?

Do you have any other tips of things I should consider?

If you found this helpful please share!

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