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Buying a Car - Insuring a Car?

In this first article on buying a car, we'd like to discuss some of the questions you should ask yourself before you even think about going to look at a car in the flesh.

1) Can you afford it? - It seems like an obvious question but many people just look at what it will cost to actually buy the car. Here are some of the pitfalls that many people neglect to address:

- Road Tax - Your current car may qualify for a lower rate of road tax, can you afford to pay the next tier up if necessary?

- Insuring a Car - If you buy a newer, more expensive car, chances are that your car insurance costs are going to increase. Can you afford the hike in your womens car insurance premium?

- Fuel Costs - Bigger engines = bigger petrol bills. If you commute to work, you should sit down and figure out what your fuel bills will be with a bigger engine.

- Servicing Costs - Servicing costs vary wildly from manufacturer, how much is a typcial service for the model you're looking at and can you afford that every year?

2) Why do you need a new car? - Do you just fancy something different or is there a specific reason that you're looking for a new car. If you're buying it for a specific purpose such as carrying around equipment for a hobby or your profession, you'll need to ensure that the model you're looking at will fulfill your needs.

Many families look at a new car to carry around the kids, but is the car you're looking at safe? There is a rating process that new cars go through to determine how safe they are called NCAP. These tests involve crashing the car in some of the most common road accident senarios and seeing how the car and it's passengers would far.

3) Second Hand or New? - Do you want this years latest model or would your rather spend a little less and get more for your money. One issue with buying a new car is that you will lose a great deal of value in the first few years of ownership, very often you car will be worth just half of what you paid for it after 3 years. On the flip side, some companies will offer you a years worth of car insurance which means you woudn't need to worry about insuring your car. Of couse this should not be a primary factor in making your decision.

4) Who will drive it? - This should also be a mjor consideration because if your children will be driving it, insuring a car for young people can be very expensive. The reason for this is insurers get very nervous when young inexperienced drivers are placed behind the wheel of an expensive new car because there is a good chance they will have an accident.

In the next article in this series we will be discussing more aspects of choosing a car so please check back soon.