If you're going to buy a new car, a little thought now may save disappointment later.

Consider the type of car you want and need and the uses to which it will be put.

Also make sure you know the size of your garage! Yes... it does happen!

Why not read our road tests, there's a pretty good chance we have already driven the car of your dreams and may be able to narrow your choices.

Having come up with a shortlist of possible models, visit a number of dealers and ask for a test drive of at least 30 minutes.

Ensure that your chosen car comfortably fits you and any other members of the family who will drive it, that you can reach all of the controls and that you have adequate vision, preferably over rather than through the steering wheel.

Don't forget to get insurance quotes, in advance, to ensure that you can actually afford the premiums for yourself and any other family members who may drive the new car.

When you have made your choice ensure that you have been quoted the "on the road" price before you sign on the dotted line. This will normally include road tax and number plates.

Carefully read and ensure that you understand the sale conditions and the terms of any finance or leasing arrangement. Do ask for further advice on any points where you are unclear and if in doubt think it over for a day or so.

So you've at last got the keys in your hot little hand but a few more checks before you rush headlong into the traffic.

Have you received the Certificate of Pre-delivery inspection?

Have you arranged insurance cover ?

Have you been given the warranty documents and service booklet ?

Before you drive off the forecourt, ensure that you are seated comfortably, can see clearly all around and in the mirrors and that your seat belts and head rests are fully adjusted.

Once you've got home and spent the usual half hour winding up the curtain peering neighbours, do take the time to read the instruction manual it will tell you much about your new car and enable you to enjoy your investment to the fullest... If you're very lucky and very bright you may even be able understand the manual for the car radio... I never can!

Article © Graham Benge

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