Buying a used car is very exciting, especially if you're a first-time buyer - a car is your passport to the open road! Before diving in, you'll have lots to consider, like what cars fit your lifestyle, what size you'll need for your kids, pets, shopping etc.
At Carbase, we have a range of finance options available to help you buy your dream car and make manageable monthly repayments, including £0 Deposit Finance Deals. You can also use the value of your current vehicle to help fund your new one by part-exchanging your existing car or van.
Finding the right vehicle
First things first! Whether you need a little runaround, a commuter car or something more adventurous, our easy-to-use website can help you find the right sort of vehicle for you and your needs.
How do I find the right vehicle for me?
When thinking about the sort of car you're after, think about how you're going to use it. Will you use it primarily to do the school run and the food shop, or for regular trips away? Will you be mostly driving on motorways and A roads, or more short run, local roads? How many passengers, (including the family dog!) will you typically be carrying, and how much luggage and other "stuff" will you need to make room for?
Once you know how you're going to be using your car, you can use the Vehicle Type filter to look for specific kinds of vehicles. You can filter many different categories, including First Cars, City Cars, 7 Seaters, ULEZ Cars, Convertibles or People Carriers, so you're sure to find the right kind of vehicle for you.
Can I filter based on price?
Yes! You can set a minimum price and maximum price (whether that's the full price of the vehicle or the monthly repayments) so you can find a reliable car to suit your budget.
Can I filter for a specific manufacturer?
Yes! We have over 30 different car and van makes and you can filter on each one so if you are loyal to a particular manufacturer, you can be sure to only look for them. Once you've selected a make, you can also specify a particular model.
What else can I filter on?
You can also filter based on what kind of gearbox you're after (whether manual or automatic), the level of mileage the car has already done, and the fuel type, so whether the vehicle runs on diesel, petrol, electricity or hybrid power.
Reserving and payment options for your car
When you have a shortlist of your favourite potential new cars, or maybe you've found "The One", you'll want to take the next steps and secure it (or them) for a test drive.
Can I reserve a car?
If you choose to book your test drive online, you may also notice the Reserve function - this allows you to reserve the car for 3 working days so you can take your time with your decision with no risk of somebody else swooping in and buying the car before you.
All you need to reserve the car is a (fully refundable!) £99 fee. After you're reserved the car, come and take it for a test drive and either start the buying process or decline the car and get your £99 reservation refunded.
How do I book a test drive?
You can book a test drive online (from the car's webpage), over the phone or in one of our stores, letting you get behind the wheel and see how much you like it in person.
If you reserve your car, you'll be able to test drive it when you come in to approve your next car. If you book a test drive without reserving the car, you run the risk of the car selling before you even get into the store, so it's best to reserve. All our test drives are unaccompanied so you can just focus on the car and what it's like to drive.
How can I pay?
If you're buying a new vehicle for yourself, we have a range of payment options, including the option to buy outright or through finance with either Hire Purchase or Personal Contract Purchase, and if you're a business looking to secure some company vehicles, browse through our Business Vehicle FAQs.
Can I get pre-approved for finance?
Yes! While many lenders provide 'soft search' finance application options (including our own online Free Car Finance Check) that give an indication of how likely you are to be approved for car finance, it isn't a guarantee, whereas pre-approval is an actual application for finance to help you secure your next used car - with no obligation to take it.
Your Next Steps
What happens on the day?
Coming in to test drive some cars and potentially take one of them home with you is very exciting, but if you've not bought a car before, you may have some questions about what happens when you come in. This section should tell you everything you need to know about what happens on the day.
What happens on a test drive?
When you come in for a test drive, we want you to really get a feel for the car. Feel free to bring in any pushchairs or child seats so you know they fit, and ask as many questions as you need to.
Read our Test Drive Guide for full details on what to expect and what to think about when you're with the car.
What will the collection be like?
If you're buying the vehicle outright, we just need your driving license and your payment to complete everything.
What if I'm buying on finance?
If you're buying through a finance agreement, we'll need you to bring in a valid driving license (registered to your current address), your passport and a utility bill from within the last 3 months.
What if I'm part-exchanging?
If you're selling or part-exchanging, we'll need a few more documents from you to process everything. Take a look at our Appointment Checklist for a comprehensive list of everything you'll need to bring; having all of these documents and items will help us give you the best price for your part exchange.
Can I drive away the same day?
We always aim for you to be able to drive away your new car on the same day - providing we have an available appointment, and your chosen car is ready to go.
What about after I drive away?
Hurray! You've now taken home your new car or van, but our support doesn't end there. At Carbase, we're here to look after you and your new vehicle, even after you've driven away. We have a number of ways we can help you. Carbase Autocentre for servicing, MOT and repairs:
What's the Carbase Owners Club?
Members of the Owners Club benefit from a range of additional services and perks, such as 12 months RAC breakdown cover, 6 months RAC Warranty, free summer and winter checks, as well as discounts when it comes to servicing and parts.
What kind of protection is available?
We also offer RAC GAP Insurance (Guaranteed Asset Protection Insurance) which exists to offer a market-rate settlement in case your car is stolen or written off during the term of your finance agreement.
As well as warranties and insurance, we know you want your car to look its best, despite the inevitable chips from pebbles or discolouration from fuel stains or bird droppings. We offer Scotts Paint & Upholstery Protection to keep the inside and outside of your car looking fresh and new
Does Carbase do repair work?
Yes! Our 3 Carbase Autocentres in Bristol, Weston-super-Mare and Lympsham carry out all manner of maintenance and repair work, and it's at these Autocentres where your car was inspected and given a new lease on life.
I still have questions...
For more information about anything to do with buying a new car, including researching, funding, test driving, buying, insuring, taxing or maintenance, get in touch with our friendly team - you can call, email or visit us in-store.