10 Things to Consider When Buying a New Car

By Alexi Falson
Updated on 14 Nov 2022 First published 12 Mar 2021
image for 10 Things to Consider When Buying a New Car Shopping around for a new car is one of the most exciting events in a lifetime, but it can also be one of the most stressful.

There’s a huge number of things to consider when buying a new car, and we understand that it’s easy to get carried away in the moment and make some hasty last-minute decisions.

To help you out, we thought we’d put together a helpful guide of ten things to consider when buying a new car to help get you the best deal possible.

1. Choose a Model, Then Compare Individual Variants

If you’ve done the legwork in finalising a shortlist of models you’re interested in, it’s time to start comparing individual variants.

In the majority of cases, a vehicle model is split into one of three, four or even five model variants that offer a range of different engines, entertainment features and safety equipment.

This is incredibly important because if you’re simply looking for the best deal, the entry-level model will serve you best, and you can show the dealership that you’ve done your research, and you’re not interested in upgrading.

Alternatively, you might find certain engine options or features a must-have, and you’ll be aware of which variants come fitted with what you’re after, and which ones miss out.

2. Consider the Insurance

The purchase of a new car should always be paired with a comprehensive insurance policy that covers not only damage to other vehicles, but covers any damage to your vehicle in the event of an accident.

Before you make your purchase, compare insurance policies for that vehicle and take note of the fine-print for things that are and, more importantly, are not covered in the policy.

Taking a closer look at your insurance options can also help you identify any cheaper policies available for models that are fitted with certain safety features, for example, so it pays to do some research ahead of your purchase.

3. Use Market Research to Help Negotiations and Avoid Feeling Pressured

The common area where even the most rational of us can make bad decisions is when we’re face-to-face with a salesperson on the showroom floor.

We understand that it’s easy to feel pressured in this situation, but it’s important to remember two things: you’re under no pressure to sign the dotted line on the same day as visiting a dealership, and the more research you’ve done, the more informed your negotiations will be.

For example, if you’re aware of the model lineup and different variants, prices and features on offer for any given vehicle, you’re signalling that you’re an informed customer that is less likely to be misled by sneaky sales tactics.

4. Consider Finance Options Ahead of Purchase

On a similar note, dealerships are likely to wave attractive-looking finance options in front of your face while you’re standing inside the showroom.

That’s why some research as to your vehicle financing options is a must before visiting your dealership.

Things like extended warranties and in-house financing might sound great on paper, but these policies are often filled with uncompetitive rates and steep fees that are often buried deep inside a contract.

5. Be Flexible on Different Colour Options

It’s widely known that purchasing a vehicle should be done with your head, rather than your heart when it comes to decision-making, and the same applies to the exterior colour finish.

New models are often introduced to the Australian market in a radical new colour shade that is unique to the vehicle, but these can also be accompanied by a lack of inventory for popular models.

Instead, opting for a neutral colour like white or silver is a great way to skip lengthy waitlists for certain colours and even potentially get a better price on that vehicle.

6. Consider Resale Value

One inescapable reality of buying a new vehicle is that depreciation is going to take a serious toll on its resale value.

There are a number of things you can do, however, to maintain the best resale value even before making your purchase, which is influenced by things like the size or fuel economy of the engine, the type of transmission, the exterior paint finish or any entertainment or safety equipment upgrades.

7. Look for Sales and Plate Clearances

One of the best ways to purchase your dream car at the best possible price is to be patient and wait for either an end-of-year, end-of-financial-year or a plate clearance sale.

During certain times of the year, dealerships are incentivised by the manufacturer to make way for new stock, which often translates to some seriously attractive prices on brand new vehicles.

It’s a lesser-known fact that model year upgrades typically introduce a few minor set of upgrades, meaning you can opt for last year’s model for thousands of dollars less and often miss out on no major features.

8. Consider Extras

Depending on the manufacturer, choosing a vehicle is just the start of the process, which can be complicated with long and costly lists of optional extra features.

These often include things like interior material upgrades, a more powerful sound system or a larger display for the infotainment system.

Take note of any features that are a must-have for you or your family, and find a model variant that offers all of these rather than ticking the costly optional extras boxes.

If you’ve done your research on the model and individual variants, optional extras lists won’t take you by surprise - which is a valuable thing when you’re face-to-face with a sales person at the dealership.

9. Get Pre-Approval for a Car Loan

One of the most valuable bargaining chips you can have while buying a new car is securing pre-approval for a car loan, which signals to the dealership that you’re ready to buy, but only if it meets your budget.

It’s also a great way to understand your repayment obligations, fees and interest payments over the course of the loan, and will inform you on how realistic your budget is.

At OnlineAuto, we compare a range of car finance options for you, to help make the process as easy as possible.

10. Use a Car Buying Service

One of the most valuable tools at your disposal, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the automotive scene is to use a car buying service that takes the hassle and stress out of buying a new car, while helping to find you the best possible price.

Using a car buying service like OnlineAuto is a great resource if you’re wanting to save the hassle of extensive research and hopping between dealerships to find the best possible price, and, they can even help get you the best trade-in price on your current car.

We offer an industry-leading car buying service that listens to your exact needs for your next vehicle, use our fleet-buying power to help secure the best price, and can even help you compare your best financing options.

Request a Quote

To get a quick and hassle-free quote on your dream car, or to learn more about our extensive range of car-buying services, click here to talk with an OnlineAuto expert.


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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