Buying a car

Our five-step guide that makes buying a car a breeze

BuyaCar team
Jul 31, 2018

You're not short of choice when it comes to buying your next car. Not with more than 325 brand new models to choose from, plus hundreds more that are available second-hand. There's no question that your ideal car is out there, but finding it - at the right price - can be daunting.

That's why we have advice and buying guides to help you every step of the way and ensure that you get a great deal on the car that's right for you - wherever you choose to buy it. It's in our interests to make sure you get it right because if you do buy from us and don't like the car, you can return it under our 14-day money-back guarantee

You might already have a shortlist of cars you like the look of, or need a model that meets some specific requirements. On the other hand, you might have no idea of what you want. Whatever your situation, we’ll help find a car for you.

   

Buying a car, stage 1

What sort of car do you need?

You might be looking for a more up-to-date version of the car that you already have, or maybe you're considering swapping your hatchback for a taller crossover. Perhaps you’re wondering whether your family of three can get away with a convertible, whether a big SUV will fit in your garage, or you’re looking for a car that’s cheap to insure? Maybe you’re not too picky - as long as it's automatic.

You can go straight to searching for your car, with the ability to filter the results by bodystyle or must-have features, or use our guides to research your choice:

Buying a car, stage 2

Work out your budget and part exchange car value

If you’re buying on finance, then you probably know how much you have for a deposit and an affordable level of monthly payments. We’ll help you work out the type of finance that’s best for you, or whether it’s worth raiding your savings and buying in cash. We’ll also help you budget for the other regular bills like car tax and insurance.

If you are planning to part exchange your car, then our car valuation calculator will let you know how much your current model is worth.  

  • Our guide to car running costs helps you add all the bills you’ll get as an owner to calculate how much the car will cost you each year.
  • See our guide to buying a car on finance and work out the best options for you.

Buying a car, stage 3

Find a model that’s perfect for you

With the right type of vehicle and budget in mind, our pages on the best cars in each category will help you pick the one that’s perfect for you. Use our in-depth buying guides to find out more about the models that catch your eye, as well as the engines and equipment levels available.

You can search for deals on more than 40,000 cars available from BuyaCar, or configure a brand new model that will be built to your specification. We've also got more information on how BuyaCar works

If you need more details - help working out how safe a car is, or which engine you should choose, for example, then we’re here to help:

  • See the very best cars for sale in each category
  • Our detailed Buying Guides have everything you need to know about buying a new or used version of the most popular cars on sale.
  • Not sure whether to go for a petrol or diesel car, or want more information on electric and hybrid models? We can help
  • Most best-selling cars are independently crash tested. Understand what the star ratings mean in our guide to the Euro NCAP tests.

Buying a car, stage 4

Find a car with everything you need

You should have all of the information you need to find your next car and get a great deal, whether you’re browsing BuyaCar or looking elsewhere. But if you find something you don’t understand along the way, then check our car jargon buster to find out what it means.

If you’re still trying to pick the right options -  wondering whether you can do without a heated windscreen and heated seats on a cold winter’s day, or if it’s worth sacrificing some ride comfort for bigger alloy wheels - then our options guides can help. We’ve even got expert tips on picking the right car colour.

  • Which options are worth spending money on: see our options guide for more information
  • Avoid a colour calamity with our guide to the best paint for your car.
  • Don’t know your ACC from your ESC? Check out our jargon busters that bring plain English to the worst of the car industry’s acronyms.

Buying a car, stage 5

Check and buy your car

You’re already dreaming about driving off into the sunset in your shiny new car, but this stage is a reality check. We’ve got all of the facts you need on tax, insurance and servicing, plus a quick checklist to help you avoid a few common mistakes:

  • Some cars offer the same-sized engine with different amounts of power: make sure you’re getting the one you want.
  • The amount of standard equipment on your car can vary wildly, depending on the trim level you choose, but it’s easy to mistakenly buy a low-specification S model instead of an SE or SE nav, which would normally come with much more equipment for example.
  • Check the number of doors. Superminis and family hatchbacks often come in three- or five-door versions but descriptions don’t always make it obvious which version you’re buying.  
  • Ensure you’ve got a four-wheel drive model if you’re looking for one. In some cases, a car might confusingly be described as a 4x4 because it’s designed like an off-roader but it doesn’t always have four-wheel drive. Ask if it’s not clear.

 

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