Is a car right for me?
Depending on your circumstances, you may find that a car is necessary or at least highly beneficial for you. For example:
- You live in a rural area with limited public transport
- You have to commute some distance to work
- You have dependent children
- You have health problems
- You’re a full-time carer or have elderly or vulnerable relatives you visit frequently
Compare what you would spend on public transport to meet your needs versus the costs of having a car. Once you know what you’d spend in each scenario you can make a more informed decision on whether or not a car is right for you.
No one person’s situation is identical to another person’s, so it’s really about looking at your needs and responsibilities and how owning a car could improve your situation.
You’ll also need to know how you’re going to cover the cost of purchasing a car as buying a car can be expensive. From buying one outright, or on hire purchase, or getting a loan to cover the cost, they’re one of the biggest purchases you’re likely to make. Again, you must talk to your DMP provider before you take out any credit in order to buy a car, as it could affect your plan.
If you’re buying a used car at a low price, make sure you’re buying it through a reputable merchant. Check online to make sure that there are no parking fines registered against the car, or that’s it’s been previously reported as stolen.
It’s worth carrying out a Hire Purchase Investigation (HPI) check to make sure that any second-hand car you’re considering doesn't have unpaid finance or debts associated with it. Please bear in mind there's usually a fee charged for this service.
Hire purchase cars don’t belong to the driver until all the debt is paid. There have, unfortunately, been cases of people unknowingly buying hire purchase cars they had no right to keep, so make sure you’re not caught out by this scam.