So, you’re thinking of diving into something super exciting – buying a brand new car! It’s one of those big milestones you’ll be talking about for ages, but there are a few steps in between to cover first. Buying a new car is no easy feat; there are plenty of things to consider. Lucky for you, we’ll save you the time it takes to work out what these things are and skip straight to telling you in this guide.

First things first – what type of car do you want?

Before we delve too deeply, the first decision you’ll make is what car you want to buy. It can be easy to jump straight to any random car just because you like the look of it, but it’s important to consider what kind of features will make a car the perfect fit for you. Here are a few features you might like to consider before making a decision2:

  • Number of seats
  • Size of the car
  • Body of the car – e.g. sedan, hatchback, 4-wheel drive
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Petrol, diesel, electric or hybrid
  • Storage space – think about the boot
  • What you’ll use the car for – e.g. off-road driving, highway driving, just to get you from A to B
  • Additional features, such as Bluetooth, reverse camera, lane assistance, etc.

For those who are brand-loyalists, it’s not exactly a feature but you may also like to think about whether you’re set on only buying a car from one specific dealership. Remember, your list may take time to develop but it’ll save you some time in the long run.

Time to research

Take the list you created and put it into action by doing some good old-fashioned research. If you’re not set on a specific brand of car, you’ll find that a lot of companies each have their variation of the same type of car. There are slight differences but each generally has the same features1. You may find you start off really liking one specific brand until you try another – this is why it’s handy to have a list so you know exactly what you want.

It’s also a good idea to do some research on the safety features of the car you’re interested in. Pretty much all cars these days have to contain airbags as a legal requirement, so you should be covered there – though it still pays to check this is a listed feature1. Delve a little deeper with your research and check whether there have been any recent safety recalls on the particular car you’re looking at buying. It may be a sign of a manufacturing fault that hasn’t quite been fixed yet and could save you the trouble of having your car recalled down the track1.

Want to know a little trick that could help you get the best deal? While you’re doing your research, have a think about the time of year. You’ll find that the beginning and end of the calendar year as well as the financial year are great times to access brand new stock or stock that car dealerships are trying to sell quickly to make room for more stock2. You could end up negotiating a cheaper price, so it’s worth thinking about this factor before you head to the dealership. After all, you’re trying to get the best deal for you.

You don’t have to decide on one particular car at the end of your research. In fact, you may like to list out your top three preferences to look at in person. You may find that once you actually sit in the car and see it up close, it may not be the right fit for you. Go to the dealership equipped with your research so you’re prepared and ready to tackle the buying side of things.

Sort out your finances before visiting the dealership

This step forms part of your research but also acts a bit separately to finding the car that fits your needs. It’s a good idea to set aside some time to decide on a financial institution who will service a loan for your new car (unless you plan to buy it outright). Treat this just like you would if you were buying a house – get a gauge for the interest rates out there, length of the loan and also how much you could likely be approved for1. You may like to consider getting pre-approval before you head to the dealership to make the process a lot smoother2.

Always take the car for a test drive

Always, always, and we cannot stress this enough, take the car for a test drive. Why is test driving so important? Well, just like how the car may look different in person compared to the research you did online, you may find that once you drive the car, there are certain features you don’t like1. Maybe the seat doesn’t feel quite right, perhaps the dash is too high, or the accelerator pedal could even feel strange – these are all valid arguments for why you may not purchase a specific car. At the end of the day, you’re the one who will be driving the car all the time, so it has to feel like the perfect fit for you.

You’ve got your car, what now?

Hooray, you’ve found the car that’s just right and you’re happy with your choice! Now, make sure you head back to your chosen financial institution to get your loan fully approved.

Next, you’ll also need to arrange insurance and register your new car before you drive it away1. This will require a bit of research to see which insurance provider is best but it won’t take long – many providers offer simple quotes that can be emailed to you right away. We can even help you online or in branch with a CGU Car Insurance quote. As with all your other decisions in this process, compare a few different providers to see which one offers the best deal.

Once you have all of this, happy driving – you just bought yourself a brand new car!

But wait… don’t forget your old car

Before you get too carried away with your new car, remember you have to decide what you’ll do with your old car. If you’re looking to trade in your old car to a dealership, check how much you could get for it – this may help you put some money towards your new car. Don’t forget to check with used car dealerships too3. If your car is quite old and it doesn’t seem like you’ll make much money from a dealership for trading it in, you may be able to get some money from a wrecker’s yard for the parts – ask around and see what they say. Of course there is also the option of selling your car privately. This is a bit more of a complicated process, so if you’re looking to go down that road, make sure you do some research and follow all the correct procedures3.

Now go get that new car! Queensland Country Bank offers a New Car Loan and a Green Car Loan that could be just the right fit for you.


Terms and conditions of Queensland Country Bank’s New Car Loan and Green Car Loan apply. View the relevant TMD’s available at Normal lending criteria, terms, conditions and fees apply and are available on request.

Queensland Country Bank Limited ABN 77 087 651 027 AFS Licence No. 244533 acts under its own Australian Financial Services Licence and under an agreement with the insurer, Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 AFS Licence no. 227681 trading as CGU Insurance. CGU Car Insurance is issued by CGU. You can get a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for this product from any office of Queensland Country Bank. You should consider the PDS in deciding whether to buy or hold the relevant product.

General Advice Warning: This information is intended to be general in nature and is not personal financial advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided. In particular, you should seek independent financial advice.


 1Michael Lund, 2022, How to buy a car, Canstar,

2Ben Gribbin, 2023, Car buying guide: How to buy a car, Finder,

3Allianz, 2022, 6 tips for buying a new car,