Buying a car, whether you are buying new or used can cost an arm and a leg, so you know are going to want to make the right decision and avoid ending up with a dud. That being the case, here are a few things that, if you notice them, mean you should walk on by and not buy that car.

You Think ‘Fuel Economy’ is a New Fitness Trend

If the concept of fuel efficiency sounds to you like the latest way to save on gym memberships, it might not be the right time to invest in a car. Understanding the basics of what makes a car go vroom (and how much it’ll cost you) is crucial. If terms like MPG (miles per gallon, not Magic Pixie Games) seem alien, you might want to hit the books before hitting the dealership.

Your Bank Account is on a Diet

If checking your bank balance is scarier than watching a horror movie alone, at midnight, during a power cut, then it might not be the best time to buy a car. Cars are like pets; they need constant feeding (fuel, insurance, maintenance), and they occasionally have expensive trips to the doctor (the mechanic). If your finances are more ‘string and sealing wax’ than ‘solid gold’, pause that car-buying thought.

You’re Chasing the ‘New Car Smell’

Ah, the intoxicating scent of a new car; it’s like freshly baked bread for the soul. But if the only reason you’re buying a car is to inhale that aroma, may I suggest a new car-scented air freshener instead? It’s much cheaper and won’t depreciate the moment you take it out of the packet. Or at least check out the used car sales, which although it might not smell quite so good, will save you a bundle and depreciate much less.

You Believe More Cup Holders Equals a Better Car

While the ability to ferry multiple beverages simultaneously can seem like peak car design, it’s perhaps not the best criterion for a purchase. If your car-buying checklist starts and ends with cup holder capacity, it might be time to reassess your priorities. Safety features, reliability, and running costs should be higher up on that list than a place to park your latte.

Your Friend’s Cousin’s Neighbour is Selling Their Car

Just because a deal falls into your lap, it doesn’t mean it’s a good one. Buying a car because it’s convenient or because it’s from someone you vaguely know can lead to all sorts of drama. Unless you fancy starring in an episode of ‘Car Catastrophes’, do your homework and shop around.

You’re Planning to Colour-Coordinate with Your Outfits

We get it, fashion is important. But if you’re considering a car purchase based on how well it matches your wardrobe, you might be cruising down the wrong road. Cars are for driving, not accessorising. Unless you’re a celebrity with cash to splash on a car for every outfit, maybe focus on the mechanics rather than the aesthetics.

You should never buy a car if any of the above are true for you!