Making a direct cash purchase on a new vehicle isn’t the most financially viable choice for everybody, but with some finance deals over full with jargon and endless talk of rates and percentages, it’s easy to lose sight of what exactly it is you need, what the best option is for you and what you should be getting back for your money.

While you do need to ensure you’re aware of the fine print and what you’re signing up for – there are some handy guides to help you get your head around this online – there are also additional individual factors worth making yourself aware of before you head down to your nearest Robins & Day forecourt.

Consider The Age Of The Vehicle

Year-on-year,most cars depreciate in value. Unless you’re driving around in a mint condition antique, the newest hyper-car or a rare collectable known from film or tv, it’s more than likely that with each passing year, your car is losing worth. Whilet hat’s an unfortunate reality when it comes to the time to sell your vehicle on or look at part-exchanging, it can work in your favour when it comes to picking a new car up.

While a brand-new vehicle will obviously hold the highest retail price possible,within just a year or 10,000 miles on the clock, its market value could’ve dropped by around a quarter, which is a significant saving on a vehicle that is almost new.

By looking at vehicles that’ve had one previous short-term owner rather than going for something straight from the factory floor, you’ll not only bring down the purchase cost of the vehicle, but if required, your monthly repayments, too.

Be Aware Of Your Credit History and Score

This is key. Getting a finance deal has as much to do with you and how you’ve managed your personal finances as it does the car you’re hoping to buy.

The poorer your credit history, the higher the repayment interest will be set, as you will represent a larger financial risk than somebody with a better score. Therefore, if you’re buying a car as a couple and one of you has a better credit score than the other, it may work out cheaper to name only one person in the financial paperwork.

Other questions worth asking before making the credit commitment are to question what happens in the event of a payment being missed, ensuring you’ve budgeted for the extra monthly outgoing and deciding between a hire purchase, personal contract purchase or personal contract hire, as each method have their own range of positives and negatives.