Before you buy a car…

Bona Magazine

Buying a car is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in life. You will face the tough battle of buying your dream car or one that is within your budget. But, make sure that you choose wisely. This, in turn, ensures that you don’t dread your monthly repayments.

“With the high-specification cars on offer today, opting for a vehicle that meets your lifestyle needs and takes the pressure off your pocket is achievable,” says Des Fenner, general manager of Datsun South Africa.

Here are ways to ensure that you choose the right car:

1. Set a realistic budget. Starting off the right way also means knowing your budget. Monthly costs should not only be based on the installments. They should also include maintenance, licensing and insurance costs.

2. Buy a car that is fit for purpose. It pays to buy a car that meets your needs. In a city environment, a car with a smaller engine that adapts to your needs will keep your costs down.

3. How much will the maintenance and parts cost? Investigate what it will cost to maintain your car. This includes the service items such as air filters, brake pads and wiper blade; repair parts such as shock absorbers, clutch and fan belts as well as crash parts such as bonnets, grills and fenders.

4. Sophisticated gadgets mean higher costs. Having a windscreen that senses the rain and automatically switches on the wipers is great. But, embedded sensors mean higher costs – especially when a windscreen needs to be replaced.

5. Know the trade-in value. Buying within your budget means that you compromise on the brand while buying above your budget means a car that has sophisticated gadgets. The discomfort could come at trade-in time when you find out that buying an alternate brand means a lower trade-in value. If you buy a car you can afford and ‘trade-up’ but stay ‘in brand’, you will generally score on what a dealer will offer you.

#GetThemCoins will show you how to adult. From saving to investing, buying a car or home as well as answer those personal finance questions you were always too afraid to ask.

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