Thursday, August 11, 2022
UncategorizedThe new-buyers guide to buying a car

The new-buyers guide to buying a car

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With so many to choose from, buying a new (or nearly new) car and weighing up the options can be tricky. As well as how much it costs, you’ll also need to think about ongoing expenses like maintenance, fuel, and car insurance. Here, comparison site mustard.co.uk offers their advice if you’re a new driver looking for their first set of wheels.

Photo by Obi – @pixel6propix on Unsplash

Consider a car in a low insurance group

All cars made for the UK market belong to one of 50 insurance groups. The lower the group number, the cheaper your car insurance is likely to be.

Groups are determined based on factors like:

  • The purchase price of the car
  • Engine size
  • Cost of parts and repairs
  • Safety and security

You’ll need to bear in mind that the car’s specification plays a big part in the group it’s in. So, cars that are the same model can still be in two different insurance groups depending on the specific features it has.

It’s no surprise that some of the most popular cars for new drivers are also in some of the lowest insurance groups, top choices include:

  1. Renault Clio
  2. Volkswagen Up
  3. Kia Picanto
  4. Ford Fiesta
  5. Fiat 500

Think about ongoing costs

Consider how much it costs to fill up a tank or charge up if you’ve chosen an electric car. As well as fuel, think about servicing, maintenance and annual MOTs (although you won’t need this if your car is under three years old).

If you buy a car from a dealership, many of them offer servicing plans which can help you budget. If cost is a priority for you, it’s worth checking out car forums and review sites so you can get an idea of running costs from current car owners.

How to keep car insurance costs as low as possible

Car insurance is likely to be your biggest ongoing expense, but while choosing a car in a low insurance group can help keep costs low, there are lots of other factors that affect what you pay.

Some of those factors are beyond your control — for example, your age and where you live. Younger drivers pay some of the highest premiums simply because statistics show they are more likely to be involved in a car accident. Similarly, if you live in an area with a higher than average crime rate, you can expect to pay more compared to someone who doesn’t.

Other factors that you can control and that can help lower the cost of your insurance premium, include:

  • Paying for your policy annually — instalments might allow you to spread the cost but your overall premium will be higher as you’ll pay interest too.
  • Considering all levels of cover — in the past, third party insurance used to be the cheapest but that’s not always the case now, and especially not for young or new drivers. Instead, comprehensive insurance is often cheaper, providing you with much better value for money.
  • Investing in car security — cars that are harder to steal (or damage) attract lower premiums. So, if you can’t keep your car in a garage or on a private driveway overnight, think about upgrading your car’s security with an alarm system or immobiliser.
  • Choosing telematics insurance — drivers under 25 can save money by opting for telematics car insurance which bases your premium on the way you drive. Typically, a device fitted to your car monitors your speed, acceleration, cornering and braking. Consistently ‘good’ driving will be rewarded with lower insurance.
  • Including a named driver — adding a more experienced driver to your policy can lower your premium because it’s assumed you’ll spend less time behind the wheel.
  • Reducing the number of miles you drive — the more time you spend on the road, the greater the risk of a claim being made (as far as insurers are concerned). If you can reduce your annual mileage, you could shave a little off your premium.
  • Shopping around for car insurance policies — comparing car insurance quotes on sites like mustard.co.uk makes searching for car cover quick and easy. Simply answer a few questions to find dozens of quotes from a range of leading insurers. Plus, with mustard’s Cheapest Price Guarantee, you can be confident about getting the best value car insurance policy for your needs.  

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