The Comprehensive Guide To Buying a Car: Part One

You are about to leap into buying a new car. Part one looks at everything you need to know about deciding on what car to buy.
Sherryn de Vos
2017-03-20
Buying a car is one of the most important financial steps of your life. A car will usually be in your life for the next four to six years, depending on what contract you sign. Choosing the right car can be the difference between four years of blissful driving, or four years of heartbreaking costs. Make sure that you have everything you need before going in and signing your life away for a vehicle.

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How To Decide What Car To Buy

Consider Your Lifestyle

  • Will you be driving the car daily into work in the city and back home?
  • Are you part of the daily stop-start traffic of the city?
  • Will you regularly only be transporting yourself or do you have a family?
  • Will the car need to be doing any heavy transport of goods?
  • Where will you regularly be parking the car?
  • Can you get away with buying a small, fuel-efficient car that you can park basically anywhere, or are you more interested in speed?
  • Also, take into consideration your personality. This car will be in your life for the next five or so years and you need to look forward to driving it every single day.

Budget

  • What is really important to consider here is knowing what long-term financial obligations you can meet. A lot can happen in five years, and you will need to honour these payments.
  • Should you become unemployed over the period, you will need to be covering the installments in order to keep the car and not be blacklisted.
  • You will also need to consider other monthly expenses that come with a car. Costs like: insurance, maintenance, petrol, and unforeseen expenses.
  • Work out your budget beforehand to know how much you can easily cover per month.

Do Your Research

Do not just walk into a dealership hoping for the perfect car to leap out at you. Spend some time on the internet familiarising yourself with the average costs of the car you are looking at.
  • Use online calculators to work out the average instalments of the vehicle you are interested in.
  • Make a list of the makes and models that most appeal to you and use comparative tools to see the pros and cons of each.
  • Make sure you know what the maintenance costs would be of each car. French cars are notoriously more expensive to maintain compared to others.
  • Know what extras you are looking for and what each car has. Are you looking for power steering, electric windows, automatic, sport, EBC brakes, etc?
  • Know what years you would be looking for in a car. If you are going for a second-hand car, keep in mind that the older the car, the more expensive the maintenance will be.
Next up: Viewing The Car.