Buying your first car can be a terrifying experience, but it can also be fun if you know what to do and what to look for. If you follow these suggestions, this process could be quite an adventure and you may just end up with a cool mechanical companion that’ll give you many miles of smiles. Or something like that.
1. Why do you want a new car? Scrutinise your motivation for wanting to buy a new car and establish what it’s going to be used for. For example, if you have a new job as a sales representative, you might want an economical car that can easily do high mileage with a small amount of fuel.
2. Test drive and research. Take your time to consider all the options available. Don’t rush into buying your first car, whether you’re buying new or used. Understand that you are spending quite a bit of money and you need to research everything about your potential new ride.
3. Affordability. This extends further than the monthly hire-purchase payments you will make on your first car. It also includes fuel costs, insurance and maintenance.
4. Interest rate fluctuations. Most first-time car buyers forget that there will be interest rate fluctuations during their finance period of three to six years, so don’t forget to budget for possibly higher monthly repayments.
5. Insurance. Don’t underestimate how high insurance payments are for first-time buyers. Be sure to shop around for quotes. Check the details to ensure that you are comprehensively covered.
6. Safety. In the rush to buy a new car, some youngsters sacrifice safety features for cool optional extras. Don’t do this. Safety must be a priority and your new car should have certain basics. You need ABS, EBD with brake assist and two airbags at the very least.
7. Parts pricing. Often, cars that are competitively priced at the outset turn out to be more expensive in the long run because their parts pricing isn’t as inexpensive as people assume it is. Do the research and understand how much you will be spending on parts when your service plan comes to an end.
8. Resale value. It seems strange to have to consider selling your car just as you’re getting ready to buy it, but it pays to think about the long term and to have a fair understanding of whether your new ride is going to hold its value over the years.
9. Important features. It’s a given that safety features are of utmost importance, but you never know what curveballs life may throw your way, so don’t underestimate the importance of features such as Isofix child seat anchorage.
10. Express yourself. When you’ve done all the grown-up stuff such as research, budgeting and reading through insurance quotes you will be better equipped to make the right decision.