Here are 10 tips to consider when purchasing a vehicle:
1. Do your research.
This holds true for both affordability and vehicle options. The Finance Calculator found online will give you an idea of how much you will be able to afford. The News and Reviews section will give you some critical information regarding the latest cars on the market and will assist with your decision-making process.
2. Use the internet.
You should be aware and safe when you know how to get online. The internet is a helpful tool for finding information, reviews, and user experiences regarding the car you wish to buy. It can put you in contact with a dealer and in some cases, start the process of selecting your car. Some dealerships will bring a car to you to test drive if you enquire online. Some will offer configurators that will allow you to make sense of all the options.
3. Shop around.
Don’t buy the first car you come across. Shop around for a better deal and see what is on offer at other dealerships. When buying used, comparing two vehicles of the same type and spec level will often show you what sort of wear and tear is acceptable. Don’t be in a rush to buy, patience is the key here and some great deals can be found if you’re just willing to let them pop up first.
4. Consider used.
While a new car can be the ultimate luxury experience, fantastic deals can be hard if you opt for a used vehicle instead. Low mileage or demo models will often come in a lot cheaper than their brand-new counterparts and still be in amazing condition. New cars depreciate quite quickly, and you can possibly get a better spec model by opting for a pre-owned model.
5. Know your limitations.
This applies to affordability. Don’t over-extend yourself and spend every available cent on a new car. While the general rule of thumb is not to exceed 30% of your monthly income on a car repayment, it’s always safer to go on the lower side of the spectrum to allow for unforeseen running costs. It may seem affordable now, but you don’t want to be in trouble in 6 months’ time when the petrol price increases.
Most of the time, a deal is negotiable. Don’t be scared to ask for a discount or a better price. Some dealers may sweeten the deal by throwing in a few additional extras like window tinting or a bin liner to help make the sale. If these are on the house, you may consider them. They will, however, not add any resale value to your vehicle when it comes time to sell. Instead, try negotiating the price.
7. Don’t mention your trade-in.
There is no need to mention your trade-in early in the discussion. Alerting the dealer to this early on may work against you as they restructure a deal to work in their favour. Keep this information as late as possible. It will also help to know what your current car is worth on trade-in so that you don’t get short-changed.
8. Don’t forget about insurance.
Not all insurances are the same and the insurance costs will vary depending on your profile, the type of car you choose, and the standard equipment level. It’s always wise to get a quote on the insurance before you buy the car so that you can factor this into the monthly repayments.
9. Always test drive the car.
This is most pertinent in a used car purchase, but the same thing holds true for a new car purchase. Spend time getting the seating position right and setting the car up the way you would like. You will regret it if you don’t and only discover that the driving position is uncomfortable, or visibility is poor after you buy it.
10. Insist on the inspection report.
When buying a used vehicle, always insist on some form of inspection report from an accredited inspection centre. An approved Dekra Certificate is a reliable way to ensure that the car that you want to buy has no hidden issues. This may plague you at a later stage.