Buying a car is one of the largest purchases you will make in your lifetime. For most people, it’s second only to property in terms of expense. That means a vehicle is an item that requires research, forethought and consideration, so here are 5 things to consider when buying a car.
New or Used
Style and budget will be the main factors that determine whether you’re in the market for a new or used vehicle, and both have their merits.
For the new models, there’s the joy of driving something modern, with all the latest safety gear, no mileage and an all important manufacturer’s warranty that should see you through the first few years of your car’s life. But, on the downside, there’s rapid depreciation, servicing commitments and the knowledge that in only a few years, your model will be superseded by the next.
Used cars have their bonuses and pitfalls too. Pick the right classic model and you could actually enjoy some financial gain when it comes time to sell, but the maintenance costs are likely to be higher and you have no knowledge of the car’s history.
If you’re going for a used car, ensure you do all the necessary checks to ascertain the vehicle is not stolen or written off, and that is mechanically sound. Car clubs and mechanics offer comprehensive vehicle checks for purchasers.
Unless you’re buying a car for purely aesthetic purposes, chances are you want something that suits your lifestyle and gets you safely from A to B. Spend some time researching and make a list, then test drive the brands and models that meet your requirements. It’s also a great idea to check customer reviews of the models you have in mind to see if there are any common problems that arise down the track.
Ongoing running costs are one of the things most people consider last when buying a car, but they can add up to be a huge expense. Before you buy, check out your vehicle’s fuel consumption and the types of maintenance and costs that will be required, like regular servicing and registration. Some cars are cheaper to run, insure and service than others.
Unless you have significant savings will need to borrow some or all of the value of the car. You can go to your bank or use dealer finance, but there is also a host of other finance options available who specialise in flexible terms or repayment options.
A car is a financial asset and, if you have a loan, it’s also a liability, so cover yourself and insure it. That means going beyond the standard compulsory insurance and taking out cover for damage and theft.
Whether it’s your day-to-day ride, your ultimate vehicle, or the wagon that can carry the whole family, a car is a major investment that, if chosen correctly, will serve you well for years to come. What model of car are you looking to purchase?