Your roadmap to buying a new car: key questions to ask before committing

If you decide to buy a brand new car, you need to make sure that you ask the right questions, so you can be sure you're getting exactly what you want! Check out this blog to find out what to ask.

Your roadmap to buying a new car: key questions to ask before committing

Nobody likes to go in blind when it's time to purchase a new car. For many, it's a huge decision that demands a significant amount of research, consideration, and focus.

A car is a commitment, and like any commitment, you need to be sure you're making the right choice.

Though a big decision, it's not uncommon. In 2022 there were a total of 1.61 million new cars registered in the UK. However, how many of these people came to regret their new wheels because they didn't ask the right questions before purchasing?

Jonathan Such, Head of Sales at First Response Finance, has put together this helpful guide to ensure that you're fully in the driving seat when it comes to your next vehicle purchase.

It doesn't matter if you're a novice driver looking for your second brand new car, or an experienced driver looking for your seventh used car, you must know all the right things to ask.

Speak to yourself before anybody else

It might be tempting to race straight to your local dealership once you've decided you want a new car...but stop right there! First, you need to ask yourself a few questions before you even think about involving others.

What type of vehicle do you need? 🚗

There are countless types of cars on the market right now, so you should begin by asking yourself which type would most add value to your life.

For example, you might like the idea of owning a convertible, but is that a practical decision when you have a big family to ferry around often?

What you want is important and should be considered, but not without compromising what you need.

What's your budget? 💰

There is rarely a situation when going over your budget is a good thing. Before shopping around for a new vehicle, first establish exactly how much you can spend on it.

It's also important to remember that the car itself isn't the only cost to consider; you must think about other expenses such as fuel, insurance, repairs, and maintenance.

Jonathan said: "Fortunately, you have a few options when it comes to how you buy your new vehicle. It could be that you have savings to spend on a new or used car outright, or it might suit your circumstances better to purchase a car through finance.

"Whichever route you choose, try to stick within your assigned budget."

What safety and technology features are important to you? ✅

The intelligence of vehicles has grown rapidly in recent times. Although cars have yet to gain those flying capabilities that we were promised in 1989's Back to the Future Part 2, they've certainly come a long way in the last few decades. Examples of modern safety and technology features include:

  • Forward collision warning (FCW)
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Automatic emergency braking (AEB)
  • Lane departure warning (LDW)
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA)
  • Wi-Fi hotspot

Some new makes and models will come with these features as standard, whereas others might be missing one or two, and some used cars may not have any at all. Knowing which attributes are most important to you will give you a fantastic starting point when looking for a new car.

Now it's time to bring in the big guns! Here are some questions you should be asking the person who's trying to sell you their car, whether that be a car salesman, friend of a friend, or a stranger online.


While it's unlikely you're looking for a vehicle suitable for the next Fast & Furious movie, it's still worth asking about the vehicle's horsepower, as well as several other questions about the model's performance. These questions include:

  • What's the vehicle's fuel efficiency?
  • What's the vehicle's towing capacity?
  • How does the vehicle handle and perform on the road?

If you're about to spend a significant amount of money on a car, regardless of whether that car is new or used, paid outright or through finance, you want to be confident that the car will perform well. That should be non-negotiable.

Maintenance and reliability

Don't sign any contracts until you've discussed the vehicle's maintenance and reliability. The last thing you want is to commit to a car, only to discover it has a few expensive and dangerous faults.

As two examples, the Toyota Aygo has a reliability rating of 99.1 per cent, whereas the Audi Q5 diesel only pulled in 76.7 per cent. It's worth asking the questions!

  • What's the vehicle's reliability rating?
  • What's the warranty coverage and length?
  • How much will it cost to insure the vehicle?

Where you're buying from

These are perhaps the most important questions of all. You must be sure you're purchasing from a reliable dealership or seller that isn't just trying to fob you off and take your money.

We know it's best to see the good in people, but unfortunately there are some sneaky people out there!

Do you research and read reviews to determine the following:

  • The dealership's reputation
  • The manufacturer's reputation
  • The vehicle's resale value
  • The cost of ownership over the lifetime of the vehicle

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

The first step to receiving an answer is being brave enough to ask the question in the first place. Buying a new car is an important event and a huge milestone in a driver's life, especially if they're new to the road.

Don't be afraid to ask the relevant questions, as doing so will likely safeguard you from any dangerous or expensive situations in the future.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, after all!

Press releases | 16.06.23

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