As a family over the last few years, we have felt the financial impact of Covid and the ever-increasing fuel hikes.
Recently our car was bumped into at the back and Brent accidentally knocked into a scooter, so we also needed to replace the bumpers and lights resulting in higher insurance premiums.
Taking all of these things into consideration we have decided to sell our big family car and purchase a smaller, more economic car. One that is lighter on fuel consumption and to insure.
However, buying a new car means we need to make an informed decision in order to not pay more in the long run.
So, what do we need to know before rushing off to buy our new car?
Here is a list of things to consider before you rush out and buy a new car.
Do your research. Cars are long-term investments and therefore should not be impulse buys. Consider your needs and your family size. Do you travel a lot or need a special Isofix fitting for car seats?
2. Read reviews
Reviews will often highlight the features of the car and bring to light any negative things to consider. Reviews from reputable auto magazines and bloggers should be considered like www.carblog.co.za or www.autotrader.co.za
3. New or second-hand?
What is your budget like? Which can you afford? Do you want a new car or a second-hand one? Interestingly car dealers do not make more money on new cars, they’d however on second-hand ones so if you looking to negotiate they will often have more room to negotiate a price on a second-hand car.
4. Compare prices
You can use online price calculators like http://www.carpaymentcalculator.net
To determine your final monthly costs as well as your interest over x amount of years. These calculators will help you to keep all costs in mind before making an educated choice.
A car dealer may have a sale, these are often excess stock and would require you to compromise on things like colour. You will need to ask yourself how important it is for you to own a purple car?
6. Offer to purchase
Your car dealer will not reserve your new car until you sign an offer to purchase or put down a deposit. It is good to know this in advance to see if you have the finances to do so before a trade-in or finance becomes available.
7. Added extras
Do you need them? The cost of those added extras will differ between dealers. We discovered just how much our extras cost us long-term and not to be honest some of them were not worth it. A reputable dealer will not rip you off but do your homework and ask around dealerships as to which one offers the best price.
Accessories do not improve the value of the car. You will benefit from them as they give the car added comfort and functionality but in the long run, add no extra value to your car in a resale or trade-in. It’s also interesting to note that badly installed accessories like a sound system can devalue your car and void your warranty.
9. Metallic paint
All brands charge extra for metallic paint.
10. Test drive
You must test drive the car you want to buy before making a purchase. Not just in the test drive patch but on the highway. You will spend so much time in the car you honestly need to know if it is a good match and comfortable drive.
11. Showroom check
After receiving your new car check everything works before leaving the showroom. That way you can address any faults straight away.
Take time to read the small print, the T & C’s, and the warranty. Things like a 3-year warranty over a limiting 7-year warranty could make a huge difference in the long run.
13. Be flexible
Don’t set your heart on just one brand and model. Be willing to test drive other models. Compare prices and look for a car that ticks all the boxes in what you are looking for.
Get a quote with and without trade-in value. Occasionally a car is actually cheaper without a trade-in. Also, if a dealer really wants your car, the trade-in value will be higher.
As lovely as it would be to buy a new car in cash, most of us cannot afford to. Also buying a car in cash usually leaves you very little room to negotiate the price.
Dealer finance is usually the best way to buy a car. They have access to multiple banks and can help to secure the best finance option. They also negotiate on your behalf.
Ensure that the cost of registration is added to your deal.
All that is left once you’ve done your homework is to choose your new car.