6 tips for buying a new car

Last updated on August 31, 2023
Buying a new car can be stressful, but it’s also a great opportunity to find the perfect car or a fantastic deal.
New car on display inside a dealership showroom
To make the process as easy and safe as possible, it’s important to be prepared and think ahead. In this article, we share our top tips for buying a new car.

Before you buy a car, take the time to research different models, to find one that best fits your budget and needs. 

CHOICE recommends considering the following:

  • Space: How much room do you need in your car? A new car is a big investment, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead and think about how much space you might need in a few years’ time.
  • Safety: How safe are the options you’re considering? You can look at specific safety features, such as airbags, ABS brakes, warning systems and parking sensors. Check the ANCAP ratings to understand how good different models are at keeping you safe on the road.
  • Fuel economy and the environment: Is the model you’re looking at fuel efficient, or a fuel guzzler? Think about how you’ll be using your car on a daily basis – whether you’re simply driving it to work, using it for long road trips or other adventure hobbies.
Test drive any car before you buy it. Try to choose your own route, and drive in a variety of conditions. Make sure the car you’re test driving has the same specifications as the car you're thinking of buying. You can even take a friend and share your thoughts.

Warranty and vehicle maintenance costs can affect how cost effective your car is to own in the long run. Some car brands and models are more expensive to maintain than others – these additional running costs could be hidden by lower purchase prices. That’s why it’s important to consider these costs when purchasing a new car. 

It’s a good idea to check your car manufacturers warranty. Some car manufacturers offer standard warranties of up to seven years, which covers your vehicle against faults for that period. 

Some car brands also offer free scheduled servicing (for a limited time) or fixed-price servicing. Knowing how much servicing will cost upfront will help you factor these costs into your budget.

If you’re relying on selling your current car to buy your new one, you can choose to either trade it in or sell it privately. Trading your car in can be hassle-free and save you time and energy, but you could potentially get more money if you sell your car privately. The trade-in deal you’re offered could depend on the following: 

  • If there’s demand for your current car 
  • If you have service records and logs 
  • Whether your car is in good condition and presented well 

To help with your decision, read our Top 6 tips for selling a car privately.

Do your research and make sure the price you’re getting is fair. It’s a good idea to visit different dealerships and compare quotes before agreeing to a price. Make sure the prices you’re quoted include all dealership fees, stamp duty and registration. Dealers may offer you extras – consider these carefully, as it might be cheaper to buy these add-ons yourself, or you may not need them at all.

Once you’ve agreed to a price, read the terms of the sale thoroughly. Make sure that none of the fields have been left blank, including the delivery date. Don’t sign the contract until everything has been negotiated, as you can’t make adjustments once you’ve signed.

Hitting the road without the right insurance is always a risk, so it’s important to insure your car before you drive it. When registering a car you’ll need to purchase Compulsory Third Party Insurance (CTP), which covers the cost of compensation for injuries you cause to others on the road. You may also want to get car insurance, and we have two options to choose from:

To find out how much your car insurance will cost, get a car insurance quote online.

Thinking of buying a used car? Read our Private Buyers Manual which provides comprehensive advice to guide you through the checks and process of buying a used car.

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This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708 (“Allianz”). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. 

Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.


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