On the hunt for a new – or nearly new – set of wheels and wondering how much time it might take to buy one? It’s definitely not a task for your lunch break, as there are a number of variables which will impact how long it takes to buy a car. We look at the main factors to consider below.
Buying a car – what to consider
After a house, buying a car is likely to be the second largest purchase you ever make. For that reason, it’s important not to rush it. In fact, 2020 research by Cox Automotive Research & Market Intelligence found that people are in the car buying ‘market’ for an average of 89 days.
That might seem like a long time, but in reality, purchasing a car is a fairly time-consuming activity. Variables such as the below will impact exactly how long it takes to buy a car.
First up, you’ve got to do your research. Is safety your priority, or are speed and style more important? What’s your budget, and what kind of financing do you need? Are you heading to a dealership, or are you okay with a private seller?
This period can take the longest, and be a real time-sap – if you allow it to be. Answering these questions before beginning your research can help to streamline it. Plus, if you know what you want from the off, you’re less likely to spend time negotiating with the salesperson as they try to upsell expensive add-ons and features.
As we say above, you can speed the process up by going into the shopping process with a clear idea of what you want. Don’t forget to include test drive times in your shopping timeline – this will usually be around 30 minutes or so per test drive.
It’s worth setting aside a day or two for the actual shopping part. Heading to different dealerships allows you to gauge which will offer you the best price and/or financing, helping you secure a deal that works for you.
Remember that buying a new car will likely be faster than a used car. It may take longer to find a used model that you’re happy with, and you’ll also need it to be evaluated prior to purchase. A trade-in will also extend the buying period.
You can speed this process along by heading to the dealership or private seller with the following:
- Your licence
- Any agreed payment details including financing
- Proof of insurance
Going in with your paperwork will speed up purchasing time, as you won’t be haggling with dealers over the specifics and any credit check and ensuing agreement will already have been pre-established.
Car finance doesn’t have to take so long!
Looking to cut down how long it takes to buy a car? You can use My Car Credit’s car finance calculator to get a no-obligation quote for car finance within minutes. Plus, if you have questions about the buying process, our friendly team are always on-hand.
Representative APR 10.9%
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Require more help?
Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!