new car

Buying a vehicle is often our most expensive purchase, so we want to get it right. Here’s our suggestions to getting the best deal on a vehicle purchase:

  • 1/10th of your income. Sam Dogen, the Financial Samurai, suggests spending no more than 1/10 of your gross annual income on a vehicle. So if you earn £30,000, don’t spend more than £3,000 on a car. That’s a tough ask! The point is that a second-hand basic model would probably be OK for most of us; spending more might make you feel better about yourself, but you’ll be paying for that luxury.
  • Budget. How much deposit can you afford for your new car? Don’t forget the insurance, road tax, servicing costs, MOT, tyre costs.
  • What do you need your car to do? Need 5 seats? Large boot? Quiet and comfy can be worth paying for if you do thousands of miles each year, but not so important if you only need to pop to the shops once a week.
  • Clean Air Zone. Drive into Birmingham city centre? Some vehicles now need to pay a charge, check the government website if you’ll need to pay. 
  • Do you really need a car? Not only do we have public transport, walking and cycling we now have car sharing schemes, car clubs such as Co-wheels and Enterprise Car Club and Uber*.
  • Old or new? Used cars are usually much better value for money, but older vehicles are likely to need more maintenance and possibly time off the road. It might be worth getting something newer to reduce the hassle.
  • Dealers often have special offers, 0% finance, incentives on new cars which may be better value than a nearly-new vehicle.
  • Borrow? Most of us don’t have the funds to purchase a car from savings, but even if you do, investing in a depreciating asset doesn’t always make sense – spreading the cost of your vehicle purchase may be more flexible.
  • Car finance options. HP, PCP, and many more options! See Money Advice Service guide to car finance for a free and impartial guide to finance options.
  • Negotiate. Always ask for a discount, lower finance rate (yes, that is negotiable), upgraded specification, free servicing, free new floor mats, etc.
  • Get a better offer. Shop around, tell other dealers what you’ve been offered and see if they can beat it. Vehicle trade is very competitive; they will do what they can to close the deal.  

How Advance Credit Union can help

A personal loan from AdvanceCU could help spread the cost of your vehicle purchase. Borrow up to £8,000, you don’t need to be a credit union member to apply. We will assess your affordability and credit check to be sure you won’t be put at financial risk. 


Start saving  –  Saving regularly with AdvanceCU can be a great way to afford your next car. Save £100 month for two years means you’ll have £2,400 towards your next vehicle. You won’t need to borrow as much, might be able to afford a better vehicle or you might not need a loan at all! 

Engage cardEngage Account offers great cashback rewards and discounts at Halfords, Asda, Argos, B&Q and many more. Plus your Engage Visa card is accepted wherever you see the Visa logo (see terms and conditions)