WATCH: Buying a new car? Is PCP the right option for you?
Some of these fantastic car deals right now, may not be all they seem.
With so many seemingly great offers for new cars at the moment, how can you be sure that you’re getting a good deal?
We spoke to Áine Carroll of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) about what people, who are in the market for a new car, need to be on the lookout for in terms of finance:
Financing your new car
After years of austerity, budgeting and making do, we’re told things are on the up. That’s good news, now many of us are tempted to dump the old banger that saw us through the tough times and plump for a brand shining new car. Certainly, there are a whole host of options out there and some of the deals seem very attractive indeed.
However, we need to exercise a little caution when getting into an agreement for car finance. There's a reason why there are so many attractive deals on the market right now and we’d be best advised to make sure we know what we’re getting into.
While many people still choose the more conventional route to financing with their local Credit Union, or with their banks, more and more people are turning to finance deals offered by car dealers.
These deals work in a very different way to traditional car loans, so if you buy a car with PCP (Personal Contract Plan), you don’t actually own the car until you make a ‘balloon’ payment at the end of the deal which could take three or five years. With a PCP, you don’t own the car so if, for some reason, your financial circumstances change, you can’t sell the car to clear your debt.
PCPs are an option for people who want to drive new cars but people should be very careful about getting locked into a finance agreement that isn’t right for them.
Some of the deals out there can seem really attractive but as with everything there can be hidden costs and certain aspects of the agreement that may surprise you down the line. You may not be made fully aware of everything at the time of signing so it’s important to ask the right questions.
Fortunately the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is here to help. The CCPC is an organisation responsible for making sure competition works throughout the economy for consumers and businesses. It is also responsible for enforcing consumer law. Another part of what the CCPC do is give independent information to consumers about consumer rights and personal finance to help consumers make informed decisions about what they buy.
Find out what you need to know about car finance here.