MOTORING NEWS - Here are some useful tips to bear in mind when you purchase your next vehicle:
Take your time
Don't rush to sign the deal. A car is possibly the second biggest asset after a house that you'll ever buy.
You wouldn't buy a house in two hours flat without first looking at all the options, weighing up the pros and cons and trying to get the best deal on a home loan.
Approach purchasing your car with the same level of caution that you would a house and you won't make mistakes that could have easily been avoided.
Do your research
Before making a decision, ask yourself what you need from a car. If you have any special needs, you need to be even more informed. For example, parents with young kids will need a feature like Isofix.
Budget, budget, budget!
If you're serious about buying a car, the first step should always be a budgeting exercise. Once you've determined your affordability bracket, you can start looking at the various models and the different features they offer within the budget. Affordability should always be your top concern when buying a car.
The last thing you want is to default on payments three months down the line because you've suddenly realised the car is more expensive than you had planned for.
The budgeting exercise should include a call to your insurer to check the cost of insuring each of the models you are considering. Insurance isn't cheap. You need to look at the bigger picture before you make the final decision.
Don't give in to sale tactics
Ignore "this is a once-in-a-lifetime deal" or "you'll regret it if you don't buy right now". Buying a car is a long-term investment that will affect your budget for years to come, so you need to be 100% certain that this is the right decision for yourself in the future. If your gut feeling tells you that you need to walk away and think about it, don't feel under any pressure to do otherwise.
All brands charge extra for this, so your safest bet is to opt for a non-metallic car. Not only will you pay less for the initial purchase, but your insurance premiums will be lower too, depending which insurer you use.
Dealers don't make more money on a new car
Dealerships keep their prices competitive, so they're not making the high profit margin you may think. If you're looking to negotiate on price, your dealer could be more flexible on a second-hand car.
The cost of extras vary
There's no standard price for optional extras. A reputable dealer will never rip you off, so do your homework and check prices across a number of dealerships if you're uncertain.
Specials are often excess stock
This doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with these cars. The dealership has possibly ordered too many in a specific colour or model.
Check and re-check
Check that everything works before you leave the showroom. Test everything, from your infotainment system to indicators, electric windows and everything you can think of. That way you can address any problem while you're at the dealership.
Security features add value
Features like anti-smash-and-grab tinting and central locking will decrease your monthly insurance premium and add value to your trade-in amount.
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