Written by 10:00 am Car Insurance

What to Consider Before Buying a New Car

Many of us may be considering dipping into the market for a brand new car. If you are thinking of purchasing a new car be sure that you get the right car for you. Although your heart may be set on a particular model sometimes it helps to take a step back to consider whether you’ll get the most out of your investment.

Statistics for the first quarter of 2017 have shown that the demand for new cars is down slightly compared to the same period last year. 60,753 private cars were licensed for the first time between January and March 2017 as opposed to 68,375 in 2016. However statistics from SIMI (Society of the Motor Industry) and from the CSO suggest that the appetite for new cars in Ireland is up compared to recent years. 146,597 new cars were sold in Ireland in total in 2016, an 18% increase on 2015. This makes it the most successful year in nearly a decade.

Financing New Car

A lot of big decisions have to be made when planning to purchase a new car and budgeting should be the first to consider. Whilst paying in cash is ideal, for many of us it may not be an option. Fortunately there are a number of alternatives now available to Irish car buyers. Hire Purchase was for a long time the most popular form of financing among Irish car buyers. However in recent years Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) has become more common. There are similarities between them in that the buyer does not technically own the vehicle until the final payment. However with PCP the buyer has more options at the point of final payment. Instead of buying the car in a ‘balloon’ payment they can carry the equity over into a new PCP agreement on another new vehicle. This may appeal to those who like to change their car every few years. For those who prefer to know that the vehicle is theirs then perhaps the best way may be to seek a loan from a bank or credit union. Many of these now offer loans specifically for purchasing new cars. Most dealers and manufacturers offer extra benefits as part of their finance plans such as discounts on interest or on service plans. Be sure to shop around paying close attention to the details of these plans. Assess the amount of interest you will be paying over the duration of your loan or finance plan and factor this in to the valuation of your prospective purchase.

Fuel Economy

Fuel-type is becoming more of a factor for people when buying cars and although the likes of electric and hybrid are steadily growing in popularity, diesel and petrol remain by far the most prominent. We have seen a shift in the Irish market with the majority of people now opting for diesel over petrol. According to CSO statistics diesel made up 70% of newly registered cars in 2016 compared to around 25% in 2006. However figures from the first quarter of 2017 suggest that favour may be shifting back slightly towards petrol. Of the 60,753 new private cars sold up to March, 40,009 of these have been diesel; representing 66% of the market. 30% were petrol at 18,331 units sold. The remaining 4% represents other fuel types such as electric and hybrid. The type of fuel you choose should reflect your driving habits. For example if the majority of your journeys are relatively short then petrol may be the better option whereas if you use the motorways often diesel can prove to be more cost effective. Each has their advantages and disadvantages and although diesel has become much more popular among Irish motorists it’s worth noting that diesel has received a lot of negative attention regarding NOx emissions in recent months. Cities such as Paris, Athens, Madrid and Mexico City have pledged to have diesel engines banned by 2025. On top of this a number of car makes are reviewing the costs involved in the manufacture of diesel cars; due to a toughening of emissions regulations in the EU.
Fuel prices can very often be subject to factors such as political conflict or even global conflicts. Some of the variances in cost can also come down to local competition. However taxation and excise duty account for the bulk of fuel costs.


Safety and safety features should always be taken into consideration when buying a new car. Driver and passenger airbags, central locking systems and three-point seatbelts should all come as standard. There are a number of newer safety features worth looking out for such as: Lane Departure Warning, Parking Assist Systems, Forward Collision Warnings, Blind Spot Detection Systems, Curtain Airbags. The EuroNCAP website is a great resource for determining whether your chosen car has a good safety rating. As well as this you’ll find information on the safety features and equipment of a number of new cars.

Other Factors

Whilst purchasing a brand new car it’s always worth keeping the potential resale value in mind. For the most part depreciation will occur as soon as you start clocking up the mileage. However, a few decisions you make now can help your new car retain as much future resale value as possible. With a little research of the used car market you’ll notice that even simple things such as vehicle colour can make a big difference. Colours such as blacks, greys and silvers appear to sell well.

This should include motor tax, fuel costs and servicing. By calculating the running costs of a new car over the duration of three years you will have a good idea of which car is the most cost effective. Researching the prices of older models of a car on used car websites such as can help give you a sense of the residual value.

Insurance is another important running cost to take into account when deciding on your new car. We suggest contacting your insurance provider to get a quotation prior to purchase so you can factor any increased insurance costs into your buying decision.

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