The Top Tips When Buying a Car at Christmas

We provide the top tips on buying a car at Christmas

Whether you’re staying in with your immediate family or planning on visiting family, we’re sure that the festive period will be as memorable, peaceful, and enjoyable as it always is.

It could be the perfect time to think about purchasing a new car, maybe as a treat for yourself or for a child that is close to passing or has recently passed their driving test.

Holiday periods are traditionally a good time to buy a new car, with many dealers trying to wrap up sales before they finish for Christmas. This is coupled with new models being rolled out in the new year, so if you’re looking for a bit of a bargain, now could be the opportune moment for you.

Do you currently have a car on finance and want to get into a better deal or save money? We could help you refinance and reduce your monthly repayments.

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Dealerships tend to be at their quietest between Christmas and New Year’s Day too, so they are often more open to discounts to meet their end-of-quarter targets.

We have provided you with our top tips on buying a car around Christmas, and how to get the most for your money.

What type of car are you looking for?

Before you make the decision to buy a new car, you need to know what you want and need. You don't want to be going into a dealership blind and potentially making yourself vulnerable to a worse deal than you’d have hoped. If you go in confidently with the type in mind you’d like, you are already going to be one step ahead of the game.

It’s worth browsing the internet for car reviews once you’ve narrowed down your choices to see what the experts are saying to make it easier for you to make your decision. 

With the impending ban on the purchase of new diesel and petrol vehicles in 2030, it could be an ideal time to start thinking about the future and going electric. There are hundreds of options available to you right now and could be a smart investment for the future, as well as help to make the planet greener.

If you aren’t interested in electric just yet, then the world is your oyster. There are many variables such as engine size, miles per gallon, fuel pricing, practicality, accessories, and how it compares to rivals that you’ll seriously want to consider before making your final decision.

How much you should be paying?

Christmas time is a perfect time to buy a new car but can also be costly if you are unsure of what you want. 

It’s easy to be dazzled by the big sale signs and percentage reductions but sometimes it’s not all it seems. Prices can be raised in the short term before a big fire sale later on.


It might be a good idea to visit Car Credible's car finance calculator. Here we provide a simple, accessible, and trusted service where you can add any current vehicles you own to potentially trade in, plus how much you would like to pay per month if you are looking to go down the finance route. We can then provide you with what you should expect in terms of monthly payments, how many years it’ll take to pay, and much more.

You can take this information to your car dealer and they can find you the right car that fits within your budget, putting you in control and therefore you shouldn’t succumb to any unexpected fees. 

Is petrol, diesel or electric best when buying a car?

A lot will depend on the type of car you buy, whether it be petrol, diesel, or electric. 

A diesel car will historically cost more to run but generally has better miles per gallon and takes less time to depreciate. For electric cars, it’s very much dependent on the accessibility you have to charge stations. You can request your local council build one by your home or you can visit your local supermarket or public car park where they have an abundance of charging stations. Not completely ideal we know, but as we get closer to 2030, these will be popping up all over the place as the electric revolution ramps up.

What paperwork do I need when buying a car?

It might not be what you want to do the day after you’ve smashed all of the turkey, pigs in blankets, and mulled wine, but ensuring you have all the paperwork for your current car and its service history is critical. 

This will help you if trying to part-exchange your car and to help with any finance being transferred over to the new one. You can incur charges if you lose your servicing log, so ensure to always keep it in a safe place for when you do come to buying or switching to a new car.

You will also want to spend some time reading the t’s and c’s when you do agree to buy a new car, just to make sure there aren’t any hidden fees that you will be expected to stump up down the line.

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How do I test a car before buying?

It’s the obvious thing to do when buying a new car, but a test drive will really help to seal the deal for you. This will allow you to test the capability and functionality of the car and just give you an idea of what you’re getting yourself in for.

Even if you are buying a used car, it’s worth asking the seller to allow you to have a drive around before you commit to the purchase.

Likewise looking around the car for any damage will ensure you aren’t paying over the odds.

Perform mini-tests if buying a second-hand car such as performing an emergency stop to see if the brakes are in good condition. Reverse, turn sharply, and accelerate (not all in one manoeuvre…), to see if the clutch, driveshafts, and accelerator are all working the way they should.

And finally, even if you have a dream car in your mind if the price isn’t right or it’s a little disappointing when you experience it in person, don’t be afraid to walk away. 

You don’t have to make the sale so don’t be pressured into anything by the dealer. They are essentially a salesperson trying to meet targets and will do anything to get you to sign on the dotted line. 


Is December a good time to buy a car?

The end of a quarter is always one of the best times of the year to buy a car as car dealer's are looking to meet end-of-quarter targets and therefore could throw in some extra deals to help secure the sale.

When is the best time of year to buy a car?

December, January and February are three of the best months of the year to buy a car. That's because at the end of the year, dealers are looking to get rid of their stock before the new good arrive, and the start of the year is when people are trying to get rid of their used cars to be replaced by something brand new.