Buying a car at Easter

Why buying at Easter can bag you the perfect car

The Easter bank holiday weekend can be a great time to go shopping for a new car. Much of the rush to buy new cars whipped up by the number plate change at the start of March will have died down a little and there are usually plenty of new models following the model-year changes.

What’s more, the longer days and brighter weather after a long winter are all the better to test drive and inspect the car properly before you buy. So, if you’re plotting a trip to the dealer this weekend, here’s what to look out for.

Do your homework

Car model ranges can be confusing things. The difference between the top and bottom of a range in terms of price, equipment and how the car feels to drive can be huge – not to mention how much it could cost you to run; and that’s before considering rival cars from other manufacturers.

Parkers reviews are designed to cut through the confusion and tell you exactly what you need to know. They can help you work out which derivative within a range is likely to be the best fit for you. Our Car Comparison Tool can help you compare its pros and cons against its rivals.

Pay the right price

No matter what kind of ‘Sale’ or ‘Bargain’ stickers are on the car, always check its guide price in our Valuations section. Simply put the car’s registration number in (or the make and model) and we’ll crunch the data to tell you how much you should pay for it. It’s what we’re famous for, after all.

And to get an idea of the market, check out the prices in our Cars for Sale section – there are more than 200,000 cars for sale.

If you’re thinking about ways to pay for your new car, there's finance section and work with over 20 lenders to give you access to more than 100 different lending options.

Watch out for deals

It pays to hunt for special offers around this time of year. A quick look at a manufacturer’s website can reveal unexpected money-saving offers.

The best place to find the most up-to-date prices is in the Parkers Deal Watch page, which is updated weekly.

Take a test drive

You’d be surprised how many people consider buying a car without even driving it first – it sounds obvious, but it’s the most important thing you can do. Besides alerting you to anything untoward, if you don’t like the driving position, the control layout or quite simply the way the car drives, you’re going to be stuck with it for years to come. Even a brief drive can tell you a lot about a car.

If you can, take pushchairs, golf bags, cycle carriers or anything else that you regularly use to make sure they fit. Bring the family with you as well to make sure they are comfortable in the car.

Get a car history check

Before you sell your current car, are you sure there are no secrets looming that could put you off your new set of wheels?

Always get a Parkers Car History Check – it’ll instantly tell you whether a car has any outstanding finance remaining or if it has been previously stolen or written off. Getting one is simple – just visit the grab a Parkers HPi check on the site and enter the car’s registration number.

Be prepared to walk away

Never feel pressured into handing over cash there and then. If you need the time to mull it over, take it – it’s a big decision, and the ball is always in your court. If there’s any doubt, walk away – there are plenty more cars out there.

Need more help finding your next car?

>> Non-deposit leasing: does it exist?

>> Car finance – which option is right for you?

Negotiating with a dealer for the best deal