Nothing beats that new car feeling, does it? Especially when you've hunted high and low for the right car, in the right colour, with the perfect options, just waiting for you to hit the road for the very first time. It's a fantastic experience for any car buyer, but in all the excitement it's very easy to forget some of the important things you should check before you leave the dealership. Worry not, Thame Cars is here to remind you of some great hints and tips.
There are usually several signatures involved when picking up your car, from finance agreements to signing the final invoice, so it's very easy to just sign everything without reading it properly. But here's where you really need to pay attention. Bring your order form with you and compare it with the final invoice to make sure nothing is missing, the price is as you thought it would be with no hidden extras added, and that the finance terms are the same as you signed up for. Also make sure that the dealer has registered the car as you want it, because making any changes could add an extra keeper, which is something you don't want on a nearly-new car.
At Thame Cars we are proud of our reputation for preparing our nearly new cars to as-new standard. They undergo a full inspection and any bodywork or mechanical details are taken care of, to give you the reassurance of that genuine new car feeling. But we can't speak for everyone else, so to satisfy yourself of the car's condition you should give it a good check over before you take delivery. Check that everything works when you get into the car, just in case something was missed on the inspection. And perhaps most importantly, thoroughly check over the condition of the bodywork, to make sure there's no damage that you hadn't seen before, and it hasn't been bumped at the dealership. Make a mental note of how much fuel is in it, and where the nearest petrol station is, just in case there isn't much fuel in the tank when you arrive to collect it.
Your salesperson should know how everything on the car works, so take the benefit of their experience and ask them to give you a proper handover, including a demonstration of all the equipment fitted to the vehicle. This could be something as simple as the location of the hazard light switch in case you need it in a hurry, or the operation of the wipers if you experience a sudden downpour on the way home. It's even worth getting the salesperson to show you how the in-car entertainment system or safety features work, particularly if it has a complicated sat nav system or technical safety systems such as adaptive cruise control. There should always be enough time for you to ask any questions or to familiarise yourself with the car before you set off.
When it comes to nearly new cars the mileage is very important, because it can affect the current and future value of the car. So, make sure that the actual mileage on the odometer matches the advertised mileage. Also ensure that this is backed up by service records, or on MOT certificates if the car is more than three years old - new style MOT certificates will show you the mileage of the car each time it has been through a MOT.
You've made all the checks, but before you jump in and drive away there are a few other things to consider. Make sure that you've got your car insurance in place, covering you from the date you pick up the car. Some dealers will offer you up to 7 days free "drive away" insurance to give you one less thing to do on collection day. Check that the car registration number is the same as the one on your insurance, and that the actual number plates on the car match. If you're paying the balance from your bank account, transfer it ahead of time so the dealer can see it in their account or pre-alert your bank that you'll be paying a large amount on debit card, to prevent any delays in being able to drive away. If you're paying with finance, make sure you bring the relevant identity documents with you on collection day.
Following these tips will make sure that your new car day is every bit as exciting and exhilarating as it should be, and you can hit the road for the first time knowing that everything is ready to go when you are!