Paying for your car

How to pay for your car is a big decision. From paying cash, to getting a personal loan or buying a car on finance, there are many possibilities. Before you start to look at cars, work out how much you can afford to spend.

Car checks

Buying a car is a big expense, and many people find it a challenge. If you buy a second-hand car from a dealer you have rights under consumer law. The car should be of merchantable quality – this means that it should be of reasonable, acceptable quality given the age, cost and history of the car; it should be fit for the purpose intended and roadworthy. It should also match the description of the car given verbally or in the advertisement.

Before you buy a car

There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself before you buy a car: What will you use it for? How long do you expect to own it? Are you looking for reliability? How many miles do you …

Your rights if things go wrong

If you buy a second hand car from a dealer, you have some protection under consumer law. However, if you buy privately, you do not have the same consumer rights because the person selling the car is not selling it …

Dealer or private seller?

There are two main sources of buying a second hand car: traders and private sellers. Traders are often called “dealers” and sell cars as part of their business. Private sellers generally have only one car to sell and are not selling …

Car insurance

If you drive a motor vehicle, by law you must have motor insurance.

Car servicing and repairs

If you own a car you must make sure it is in a safe, roadworthy condition, and to keep it in good working order. There is plenty of competition for car servicing and repairs, so pick up the phone or go online and shop around for quotes. Remember, whoever services or repairs a particular part of the car is responsible for this work.

Clocked or crashed cars

Your car displays the total mileage it has driven on a meter called the odometer on the dashboard – this is essentially a “clock” which tells you how many miles or kilometres your car has been driven.

Problems making car repayments

If you are having problems making your car repayments you have several options. These depend on what type of finance agreement you have.

Car rental

When you rent a car from a car rental company, you will be asked to sign a rental agreement. Always read the terms and conditions of this agreement, especially the small print. If you don’t understand a term in the agreement, don’t be afraid to ask for an explanation in writing.

Contaminated fuel

Contaminated fuel can cause serious damage to your car’s engine and leave you with a hefty bill for repairs.

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