Are you ready to buy your first set of wheels? Shopping for your first car can be a daunting experience, but it should also be something to be excited about. The right car should suit your lifestyle and be a reliable vehicle to get you safely from A to B.
Before you sign on the dotted line, you should always do your research. To help you have a successful transaction and take home a car you are happy with, here are our top tips:
Get a history
If you have decided to buy a used car it will cost less, but you will be taking more of a risk. Before handing over your hard-earned money, try to get a full history of the vehicle. You should check whether the logbook has been filled out correctly, whether it has been in an accident, and how many previous owners it has had.
If it is a private sale, you should also check to see whether the car has any finance owing or if it has been written off. Your local government should have an online portal to assist you with this process. For those looking to buy a used car from a dealer, they need to be able to guarantee ownership so an encumbrance check is unnecessary.
Know what you want
When you start looking for cars, it can be easy to get swept away by sales jargon and shiny paint. Before you start your search, determine what you want to ensure you don’t end up with a vehicle you hate.
For example, do you feel more comfortable driving an auto or a manual? If you are planning a family you will probably need four doors, rather than two. And, if you travel long distances you may want something with storage space, fuel efficiency, and advanced safety features.
Set a budget
Be realistic about how much you want to spend, and what you can afford. You may need a loan for your car and you should discuss this with the bank before proceeding. How much are the repayments and are there any fees and charges you should be aware of?
Don’t forget, there is usually room to haggle and it is expected you will at least try to get the price reduced. Remember, there will usually be extra expenses such as transfer fees, registration, and fuel.
Learn more about your prospective car
Buying a brand new car will usually come with the peace of mind of a warranty and roadside assistance. Buying from a private seller won’t come with any type of guarantee so you should be vigilant before committing.
Take a friend with you, preferably someone with auto knowledge, and be sure to take the vehicle for a test drive. If you are investing a significant amount of money it can be worth having a mechanical check. You may be able to get a bargain if there are a few minor repairs that need to be done, and you can buy quality used parts from an auto wrecker.
Before buying your first car, decide whether you want to buy new or secondhand. Look around and do your research, before taking home your very own vehicle.