Before you head down to the dealership and drive away with your new car, here are some things to consider.
There are decisions to be made and boundaries you need to set for yourself before you approach the salesman to discuss your car needs.
Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Research the type of car that would be right for your needs and lifestyle. What type of mileage are you looking for? Do you have a particular make and model in mind? Do you prefer a four-door sedan or an economical two door? What about a Bakkie?
Reading customer reviews and watching videos might also help to make the decision.
Is it a car that could cost more to repair over time? Are there parts readily available in your area for repairs? What will the monthly payments be?
Will it be expensive to insure the vehicle? Will the final cost still fit within your budget? Know these answers before you make the final decision.
2. Take it Out for a Test Drive
Once you know what you are looking for, take if for a test drive. Determine how it drives and if it is something that fits your needs. Consider the interior space, safety features for you and your family.
Will it be comfortable for long distances or in busy traffic? Never settle because you don’t want to take the time to research more models. Pick the car that will be right for you.
3. Be Shopper Savvy
Try to get the best price you can. Do not just jump at the sale because you find the car you want.
It is usually not possible to go into a store and haggle over the prices of items but it is possible to negotiate a better deal at a car dealership.
If you see a car you want but it is a little over your price range then why not try to get a bargain? The worst the salesman can say is no, but if they do sway you a deal you could end up saving some money.
4. The Monthly Bills
Once you have made a decision about the car you want to buy, make absolutely sure that you can afford the expenses on a monthly basis. Factor in the car payment along with the car insurance premium to get your complete monthly total.
Are you comfortable with the price? If so, sign away. If the amount makes your heart stagger a little, maybe you should rethink things and go for a cheaper model.
If you can afford to make a down payment deposit on your car, you should definitely do so. This will make your payments more affordable. If you cannot make a deposit then consider trading in your current car instead of a deposit to help cut the cost of the new car down.
If a deposit is not required then make sure that you do not have a balloon payment. This plan may help you to make smaller payments but will end up with a large (residual) payment to pay off at the end of the term.
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6. Vehicle Financing
Vehicle financing can be done in two ways. The first way allows you to create the deal and interest rate yourself. This can be done with your own bank. Or you can allow the dealership that is selling you the car to do it all for you.
They both have their advantages and disadvantages. If you have a good relationship with your bank or a loaning institution then try this approach first. If not, then the dealership will have contacts with several banks to help negotiate a deal on your behalf.
This is generally done through Wesbank.
Most financial institutions will require you to have comprehensive car insurance as part of their agreement. Car insurance can be purchased through many different insurance providers. One of the best ways is to hire an insurance broker to advise you on the best insurance based on your needs and the premiums you can afford.
Make sure to look at the fine print of the terms you are signing. Know your insurance policy and its limitations before dedicating yourself to any one policy.
8. The Car’s Warranty
Most new cars come with a warranty. Make sure you know the details of your vehicle’s warranty and what it will cover.
Will it cover repairs and which ones?
It is important to know where you will be able to service your car when it needs it. Will the dealership also provide servicing needs such as oil changes and repairs?
Make sure you understand the servicing terms before signing up.
10. A Happy Customer
Once you have done all the above and own the car you wanted, it is time for you to enjoy it.
Buying a new car can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Make a wise decision and make sure to use the above-mentioned tips to guide you on your journey to buying your first new car.