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Driver training specialist IAM Drive & Survive is offering weekly motoring tips to drivers from its head of training, Simon Elstow. This week he is advising on buying a new car.

  • Decide on the type of your car you need. Do you need a car to ferry the children around? Or if you make lots of long trips you need to think about luggage space. Make sure your choice fits the purpose.
  • Know your budget. How much you are able to spend? Think about potential insurance and other running costs as well.
  • Check for any hidden extras – such as additional charges for number plates and delivery.
  • Check the running costs before you buy. Diesel cars offer better fuel economy but are more expensive. Don’t forget car depreciation; think about how much the car will depreciate in its first three years and how this will affect the price if sold second-hand. Road tax is related to carbon emissions so the lower the emissions, the better.
  • Once you’ve decided on budget, make sure you know how you will be financing the car. Most importantly, stick to your budget.
  • Test drive. You need to find out if the car is comfortable and suits your needs.

Elstow said: “The new registrations are released in March, so some people will be thinking about a new car. If you are – buy a car with the latest safety technology and aim for five Euro NCAP stars. They rate cars according to how safe they are, with five being the best. But before you take the plunge, do the research.”

To help drivers stay safe this winter, the IAM has launched a new website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts and tips on how to drive safely in winter.

Tips cover rain, snow, ice, fog and wind – everything you can expect in a typically unpredictable British winter. Check it out before you travel.

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