Buying a car

  • Request a brochure and test drive through Parkers
  • Do as much research as you can beforehand
  • Use the reviews to help you draw up a shortlist

Buying a new car can be a daunting experience, but an exciting one too. The most important thing is to do plenty of research beforehand and the Parkers website has plenty of tools to help you make the right decision.

Parkers new car reviews should be your first port of call. They’ll tell you plenty of information about every new car that matters, including what it’s like to drive, what its safety credentials are, how tough it’ll be to sell on and much, much more.

Most cars have a huge collection of derivatives with different engines and trim levels, which can be overwhelming. Once you’ve decided on a make and model you’re interested in then the ‘Parkers Recommends’ feature can help you narrow your selection down to a particular version. You’ll find this below the summary at the start of each full review. It’s a list of which derivatives are likely to suit your needs best whether you’re looking for low running costs, a family car, a company car, the greenest car in the line-up or the version that’s most fun to drive.

The next step is to get hold of a brochure or, even better, get yourself behind the wheel. On the review’s summary page you’ll find links where you can do just that by clicking on ‘Book a test drive’ or ‘Request a brochure’. Always get a test drive before you buy – even a short drive will reveal a lot about the car. Don’t feel under any obligation to part with any cash immediately after the drive, either – the ball is always in your court.

Set yourself a budget and make sure you don’t stray over it, which is easily done especially when faced with the sweet shop that is the options list. Parkers reviews’ Equipment section can help you decide which options are a must-have and which ones you can do without.

If you need any extra information to take with you when you view a car you can also download an information pack about any current model from the reviews’ Facts & Figures pages, which gives you everything you need to know about the car in one place.

Consider the timing of your buy – there are often deals to be had shortly before a new model arrives or at the end of the calendar year – and it’s well worth looking into a car’s reliability history too, especially keeping an eye out for any recalls or known faults during its production history.

The more prepared you are, the better your chance of driving away in a great car and, above all, enjoying the buying experience.

Don’t forget to check out our Cars for Sale section for the latest deals on new and used cars. And when you come to sell your current car, make sure you get a free car valuation with us to ensure you get the right price.

If you're considering buying your next new car on finance, visit our car finance section for a simple, affordable and trusted service allowing you to finance the car you want at the best possible price.