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Ask the expert: 3 car-buying myths that you need to stop believing


Buying a brand new car can be a little bit overwhelming.


After all, there are a lot of things that you will have to consider from price to make and fuel efficiency to size.

Sometimes it’s hard to cut through the jargon and sales tactics to find good, solid advice that will help steer you in the right direction. But, thankfully, help is at hand.

We caught up with motoring journalist and car reviewer, Bob Flavin, to find out the car buying myths you need to stop believing in 2021.

With his expert advice and a little bit of homework, you’re sure to find your dream motor this year.

Myth 1: The price at the dealerships is final

When you search for vehicles online or even visit a dealership, don’t forget that you should always negotiate the final price.

“Of course there is always wiggle room in every price,” Bob explains. “If you’re trading something in, always talk about the ‘cost to trade’. That is the difference between the price of the car you’re trading in and the price you want to buy.

“If it’s a new car, try to negotiate over the options on the car, things like alloy wheels, the colour of the car or metallic paint.”

If you’re buying a used car, the advice stays the same.

“There’s always room to manoeuvre over the price of a second hand car,” Bob continues. “There’s a thing called a ‘washout’ that they often negotiate over quite a lot so it’s worth negotiating every single time.”

Myth 2: It doesn’t matter what time of year you buy a car

If you’re looking for a new motor, it often pays to be patient and wait for the right time.

“If you buy between January and July in the Republic of Ireland, you’re at the high point of the year,” Bob states. “It’s more like March to September in Northern Ireland. If you want to save a bit of money you try and buy what they have in stock, so buy outside of those times for a new car.

“For a used car, at the end of every month pretty much all the new cars are sold out and all the used cars are traded in. So, it’s worth looking at the end of every month.”

Myth 3: PCP is the most flexible form of car finance

PCP or Personal Contract Plan finance is a lease scheme. With a PCP you hire the car for a period of time, usually between three and five years. At the end of the PCP agreement, you’ll have a large final payment to make (a balloon payment) in order to own the car. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s often not the most flexible form of car finance.

“PCP restricts you to what dealership you’re able to get serviced in,” Bob explains. “It also restricts your mileage per year. Any damage done to the car gets added on to the balloon payment at the end.”

An alternative to PCP is a personal loan from your bank or credit union. You can typically take out this type of loan with repayment terms ranging from three to five years and you can borrow the amount you want to pay for the car or make up any shortfall in savings or your current car's trade-in value.

“It really is worth checking our exactly what kind of financial arrangements suit you best before you get into any of them.”

With a Credit Union car loan you’ll own the car from the outset. There are no scary hidden fees, additional charges or balloon payments. Credit Union. Imagine more. Make a car loan enquiry online today.