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Many of us rely on the convenience of owning our own car to get around, with cars often being the second most expensive purchase for the average family or individual. Many individuals invest in their own car as their first major purchase, even before buying a home or other larger investments, but knowing what to do when buying a car is not always straight forward.
BUYING A CAR SIMPLIFIED
Buying a car should be a relatively simple process but you also want to be certain you are minimising the potential costs involved. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with options and end up with a bad deal, a lemon or a debt you can’t afford!
Check out these steps for simplifying the process of buying a car:
The first stage of buying a car is determining the type of car you need for your personal circumstances. If you are single or part of a couple, you may be happy with a smaller car. Families will want something larger, big enough to fit all the family members and other things you may commonly need to transport. Or if you are planning to use your car for a specific purpose, such as transport of tools for work or for towing a trailer or caravan, you may need to consider a larger vehicle that is able to do this.
The planning stage will require some research, which you can do online once you start to narrow down the type of vehicle you would like to purchase. A good place to start is with a guide such as How Safe Is Your Car. As the name suggests, this is a great resource for anyone that values the safety of their vehicle above all else. Family and friends are sure to have recommendations if you want to welcome them into the buying process too.
New or Used Car
Another part of the planning process also depends on your personal budget. If you do not have much money to spare, or a great deal to budget towards a car loan, you may be best choosing to go with a second hand car.
Alternatively, if it is within your budget to meet the repayments, a new car may be ideal. There are pros and cons of both new and used cars. One of the big benefits of a new car is of course the new car warranty for the first several years, which covers you for any manufacturing faults and related issues. A used car is of course much cheaper.
2. FINDING A CAR
The next stage of buying a car is finding the one you want. By now you’ve done some research around the type of car you want and possibly even narrowed it down to the exact make and model. Otherwise, you may need to do some further researching around what is available.
This can be done in person by browsing local car dealers in your area and finding what is available and in your budget.
Alternatively, you may decide to use an online car buying website such as Carsales.com.au which saves time visiting endless car yards and allows you to narrow your search. This is also a great way to determine the approximate prices of the type of cars you are interested in owning.
Once you have the car you want in mind, finance is often the most stressful parts of buying a car. Whether it be a case of not having a large budget to spend or not being able to get finance approval for the amount you want.
If you are lucky enough to have the full or partial cost of your car in savings, the process becomes much easier as you can pay direct for that portion of your car, purchasing outright without needing finance. Or only requiring a partial loan.
More likely, though, you will require finance to fund your purchase and this becomes a case of finding the right service provider for your needs. You may choose to source finance through your existing financial provider, such as your bank, or through the car dealerships finance partner. Do you research before signing up to a finance package to ensure that this is the best possible deal for you!
Yet another option is to secure finance with a company that specialises in vehicle loans
4. CARING FOR YOUR NEW CAR
Of course once you have your new, car there are some important steps you should take even before you take your car home. Ensure you have suitable car insurance in case of damage, fault or accidents. Know you can get special premium discounts if you get car insurance for teenagers if this is your child’s first car, as insurance companies smile upon people getting responsible about insurance early on in life. You need to ensure you and your car is protected in the case of such circumstances, especially since you will still be potentially paying it off yourself.
Maintaining your new car, whether it is brand new or used, it is important to schedule regular services to extend the life of your car too. Your new car should be treated with the same care you give other important assets, and regular maintenance will also prevent unnecessary break down.unnecessary breakdown. The RACV has a handy car maintenance checklist that covers the basics however its always worth touching base with your dealership to take care of major items. This may mean more ongoing costs in the short term, but less major costs in the long term.
Do you have any tips or experiences to share that helped when buying a new car?