HomeNew Cars Ultimate Guide to Buying a New Car

Ultimate Guide to Buying a New Car

When it comes to buying a new car, there are two types of people; one type dreams of driving the city streets in a Ford Mustang and the second type tells their other half a Ford Mustang isn’t ‘practical’ and they should be looking at something more ‘functional’, such as the all new Puma.

Well, we’re inclined to agree with both camps. So let’s get cracking…

When do I need to buy a new car?

It would be easy enough to answer this question with 'when your current car starts falling to pieces' or it may be becoming a regular visitor to a local garage. However, there are many other moments in time when it may be more optimal to purchase a new car.

Take for instance your lease or finance agreement, if this is nearing, or has reached, the end of its term, you’ll be at the point of having to make an additional payment to outright purchase the car or alternatively return it to the dealership. This is an opportune moment to invest in an upgrade.

Another understandable time for needing to consider purchasing a new car is when your circumstances may change for any reason. This could be the exciting arrival of a child (or grandchild), or it could be a new direction such as a change of job. Take Mark, our Marketing Executive, for instance, he recently volunteered to be the coach of his local U7 football team. All of a sudden, he had slalom poles, nets and footballs taking up all the space in his tiny little car (he’s lost his back seats entirely!). Fortunately, we’ve put him in touch with our sales team who we think may be able to help his situation in a cost effective way.

This is the great thing about your TC Harrison dealership; you can turn up at one of our dealerships (ideally with an appointment so we are ready to help), take a look at the stock, test drive as many cars as you choose and if you decide it’s not the right time for you to purchase, then you can walk away with no pressure at all. We would highly recommend a test drive though; you might as well make a day out of it!

What car do I need?

First things first. If you already have a good idea of what you’re looking for (people carrier, used car etc) then we suggest you read the blogs below which will help you decide by taking a more in-depth look at each of your choices.

People Carriers

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Used Car

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Electric Cars

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New Ford Cars for 2021

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It’s a really good plan to prioritise when choosing your next car; consider your lifestyle and your day-to-day routine. It sounds simple but with the world quickly adapting to a ‘new normal’ amid a Global Pandemic, your requirements for a car may have changed quite dramatically recently.

Kids and grandkids are usually the biggest factors. Then it funnels down into your working lifestyle and whether your car gets you from A to Office or whether it’s more than that, such as if you’re a local courier or handyman. Finally, how do you spend your free time? With staycations becoming increasingly popular, you may have to consider this. Whilst some even have the additional challenge of finding space for their four-legged companion.

Historically, unearthing a car that not only suits your personal needs but also fulfils your desire used to be a challenge but may now be easier than you think. Models used to be rigid and inflexible but Ford has developed their range to provide an almost seemingly unlimited choice of practicality, flexibility, performance and economy. When you walk into a TC Harrison showroom, you’ll discover just how many choices you have. There are cars built for comfort and desire from the undeniable Ford Focus through to the audacious Ford Ranger, and then for functionality and flexibility, there’s the Ford EcoSport to the Ford Tourneo.

What extras do I need?

We all remember the time the only upgrades available on a new car were ‘switching to electric windows in the back’. Models were rigid and the levels of customisation options didn’t even scratch the surface. That’s no longer the case as the showroom becomes your oyster, with personalisation available down to the finest detail.

With this comes the overwhelming fear of the unknown. How are you supposed to know which extras you need, or want? You feel like you’re on the spot and this is where all the ‘tips on how to get the best deal’ tell you to just say no to everything. Sure, that’ll save you a couple of hundred pounds maybe but you’ll end up with a model that wasn’t quite what you want or need; modern day cars have a range of great extras designed to make life so much easier for drivers and it would be a shame to miss out on anything without consideration. On the flip side, if you nonchalantly said yes to everything, you’re likely to overpay for a vehicle that comes with specs you may not have needed. So let’s try a find the best balance for you…

Once you’ve decided which car is the one for you, take your time to browse the extras (and there are sometimes quite a few) so that you know which ones you’d be looking for. For example, active park assist, maybe this is something you wish you had right now! or maybe, you don’t require it as much due to minimal city centre and parallel parking; what about heated seats and the all new heated steering wheel – these are extras that are often not considered but are so cosy on those frosty drives to work.

Then there are more physical additions, such as roof bars, carpet over mats and tow bars, again any ‘tips’ on how to attain the best price may possibly tell you to categorically avoid these as you could save yourself money by adding them yourself in the future. They're not wrong because yes you could add these items after your purchase and in the short term they may be cheaper, however, let's take a look at roof bars. You can attach these yourself (or pay your local motorists store), but the three key points we would add are; firstly the quality of the roof bars is likely not to be equal to Ford’s standard and secondly, Ford design roof bars in parallel with the car whereas after fit alternatives are possible universal fit, bulky and unattractive. Thirdly, once you’ve bought your car and you’re driving it off the forecourt, do you really want to spend time adding all these extras to it yourself, wouldn’t it be far better to drive away with everything you need, fitted correctly, adding to the appearance of your new car and all the time in the world to enjoy everything.

Ultimately, the pennies saved pale in significance to that of the quality and convenience. Here’s a real-life example: when Matt our Group Marketing Manager, purchased a new-build house he had a loft ladder as an extra, it cost him £120. Loft ladders are available from £60. So ultimately, he was paying an extra £60 for it to be readily installed when he moved in. The alternative was Matt saving £60 but having to pick this new ladder up, head to his new home, erect another set of ladders just to install the loft ladders he’d just bought… you get the point.

Buying a new car from a dealership

Fortunately, there are very few dealers around that are as devious as Harry Wormwood in the film Matilda. And as we promised at the very start of the guide, we’re here to break the mould of dealerships that just push you into the direction of their showroom to find ‘their best deal’. We’d much rather provide you with all the information you could dream of before you arrive at TCH.

Firstly, the pros of buying from a dealership such as TC Harrison:

• You receive first-class customer service and have a point of contact should you have any queries once you’ve driven off the forecourt
• Finance is easy to arrange and our specialists will be able to guide you through the options available and answer any queries you may have
• You can part-exchange your current car
• You can test drive the car before you purchase
• We offer a wide range of Ford vehicles and can match your exact specification

Now the bit you probably didn’t expect us to write.

The ‘cons’ of buying from a dealership… with a reason as to why it isn’t a con for us.

• You’ll have to negotiate to achieve the best deal – you’re absolutely right, so it’s a good job we wrote an entire blog on it here (it’s also later on in this guide, just for good measure)

• You might get more money for selling your car privately – again, you’re right but did you read earlier the loft ladder reference? Well, the same principle stands. You have time, effort and a lot of tyre kicking consumers to go through before you achieve the price you want privately

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How to get the best deal on a new brand new car

Haggling. It’s a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. However, the ‘secret’ to achieving the best deal through negotiation, especially at TC Harrison, is to be open and polite with our team. Yes, we’re not kidding, if you’re pleasant, ask us how our day is and treat us like humans, we’ll almost certainly go that extra mile for you and offer you our very best deal. Sometimes, we find customers are short with us and are very demanding, usually because they have been advised this is the way to get our ‘best price’; generally both approaches arrive at the same result and our best price, but we find that the pleasant route is usually more rewarding for both parties.

‘Know what you want before you arrive at the dealership’ this tip doesn’t stand with us. When you walk into a TC Harrison showroom, you don’t need to know which model and specification you desire, as our team will be able to talk you through the different options (both in stock and available to order), depending on what you require. From there we’ll be happy to provide you with a deal that we can both be pleased with. After all, we’ve just spent time talking you through the range, allowing you some test drives, why would we now be all hardball about the price? And guess what, if you’re as friendly as we are welcoming throughout the process… that deal becomes a lot easier for us to offer.

As mentioned, we will provide you with the model and specification you desire, no matter whether we have it in stock or we order this in for you, that’s one of the pleasures of being an approved Ford dealer. However, there is no denying that we hope the model and spec you desire is sat in our showroom or on our forecourt. It makes the process much simpler for us, allows you to drive away happy much sooner and yes it does achieve you a better end price. So, if you’re not completely sure on the model and spec, talk to us about what we have.

You may have read that walking away from a dealership or ‘pitting dealers against one another’ are another great way of achieving extra discounts. They’re not. Rolling up one morning and purchasing a new car is not something we expect. Purchasing a new car is a big decision, it takes time and consideration. So we highly anticipate that you may visit twice or more until you drive away with your new Ford. That isn’t walking away, that’s just taking the time to consider.

Now it’s no lie that, if you’re polite and friendly during your initial visit, we may look to see if there is anything we can do to help you make that decision whilst you’re away. It’s in both of our interests. However, aggressively pitting us against another dealer will quite simply make us less interested in seeing what we can do for you.

When is the best time to buy a new car?

As a dealership, we want to be able to provide every customer with all the time in the world. Naturally, at peak times this might not be possible because all our team may be in conversations already. Of course, avoiding these peak times allows us to find you the most suitable deal, so if possible, avoid dropping by at weekends or at the start of a new month.

Round-Up of our ‘Top Tips’ for buying a new car

• It’s good to know what you want in terms of models and specs but it’s also totally fine to know nothing, it’s our job to guide you through and help you choose the best car for you
• Buy from an established dealership; the process is simple and easy, you have a wide range of choice and the customer service is second-to-none
• Be polite and friendly (as we will be at all times with you); this will help you achieve a better price
• Bring everyone along to the dealership that is involved in the buying decision (we're including the kids and your 4 legged friends) so we can help find the best choice for you all
• Avoid dealerships at peak times and try and make an appointment ahead if your visit; if you were hoping to have an in-depth conversation with a member of the sales team,  allow yourself enough time to ensure you get to see everything Ford have to offer

What car does Bill Gates drive?

Yes, it wouldn’t be the Ultimate Guide to Buying a New Car without finding out which car Bill Gates drives. Sadly, the unconfirmed reports that he drives a Ford Focus have been put to bed as he revealed in an interview with YouTuber Marques Brownlee that he bought a Porsche Taycan (we'd have chosen a Ford Mustang personally).

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