When it comes to purchasing a car, it can be one of the most drawn out processes and you can end up with a vehicle that isn’t right for you. There are a variety of reasons that people use to rush into making a car purchase, but it’s important to remember that it’s one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life, next to buying a house.
To help navigate through the complications of purchasing a vehicle, we’ve put together 8 top tips to help you find the car that’s right for you and make sure that you don’t end up regretting buying the car you finally settle on.
1. Do you want a new or used car?
There are lots of decisions involved with buying a car that most people don’t even realise they need to make before they start the process. You have to start somewhere and the best place to start is by making the choice between whether you want a new or used car.
There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to buying new cars as well as buying used cars, so it is best to look at all the pros and cons, as well as your own financial situation, when making this decision. The key things to bear in mind are that new cars often don’t have as many mechanical difficulties as used cars, but they can depreciate in price very quickly.
2. Is petrol or diesel right for you?
It may seem like a strange thing to decide, but knowing whether you want a petrol or diesel vehicle will make a big impact on the car you end up with. Some vehicles come in both petrol and diesel, but end up with very different running costs – for example two sisters bought a Volkswagen Golf Highline each, one had the diesel and the other the petrol version. Both drove the average kilometres for a New Zealand passenger vehicle per year, the sister with the diesel spent $1038.21 on fuel and the sister with the petrol spent $1883.72 on fuel in a year.
Of course driving styles and time in traffic will also have an impact on their individual fuel consumption but for the sake of comparison haven’t been included in these estimates. That isn’t to say that diesel is always the better option, but it is worth taking time to consider your options when it comes to the fuel. Make sure you take into consideration the type of driving you usually do, for example highway driving or city commuting and how much driving you will likely do per year.
The vehicle fuel economy labels are a handy tool to use to help you compare how much fuel different vehicles will use, for more information on fuel economy labels, visit the energywise website.
3. Convertible, Hatchback, Sedan, Coupe or SUV?
There’s not much point getting a two-seater ute when you have four children and a partner to ferry around in it. There are lots of different types of vehicles out there and it’s important to find a type that suits your lifestyle and needs. Living in the city, you don’t necessarily need a huge 4x4, living in the middle of nowhere on roads that aren’t maintained isn’t the best place to have a low slung sports car.
But deciding on the type of vehicle isn’t a decision to be made on a whim, there is another step that you need to consider at the same time in order to come to the right decision for you:
4. What do you need in a vehicle?
What do you use your vehicle for? Is it simply to pick up the kids from school and doing the weekly food shop? Do you need it to drive to and from work? Is it for your business? Or is it going to be the vehicle that your kids learn to drive in? Whatever the reason, it will have a big impact on the type of car you want to get as well as whether you might want to consider a new or used car.
5. Can you afford the running costs?
Once you’ve decided on whether you are buying a new or used car, petrol or diesel, what type of car and what you need it for, the next thing to do is look at the running costs. You need to look at how much the car is to insure over the course of the year, what the compliance costs are (warrant of fitness, road user charges etc.), the fuel costs, scheduled servicing intervals, servicing costs, the cost of replacement tyres, the cost of replacing parts such as brake pads; there are lots of costs to consider in addition to the price of the vehicle itself.
The next thing to do is make a short list of vehicles that fit into all your categories and then it’s on to the next step.
6. Finance and insurance
How are you going to pay for your vehicle? Paying cash for a vehicle won’t necessarily get you the best deal possible. Most people choose to pay the total cost or at least a portion of the vehicle cost with finance. Even if you don’t have the best credit history, there are financing options available. Kiwi Car Loans can help arrange both finance and insurance for your vehicle, and discuss the different options that are available.
7. Test Drive
You may think that you have found the car of your dreams, but before you’re taken it for a test drive you won’t know. The test drive can make or break the purchase of a car for you. You may find that the gears don’t shift as cleanly as you like in a manual, or the position of the dials on the dashboard aren’t where you’d like.
You might find that the steering is too stiff or the ride isn’t smooth enough, all of this you can only discover after you’ve taken a car for a test drive. It’s a good idea to set up test drives on a couple of different vehicles so that you can compare them all. You might have your heart set on one, but if the test drive makes you realise that it wasn’t meant to be, having a few lined up can mean that you find the vehicle that is just right for you – even if it wasn’t your first choice.
8. You don’t have to accept the first vehicle price
Though it may seem like a strange thing to haggle over, price is something that sellers are often open to negotiate. Buying a car isn’t like buying a loaf of bread. Whether you choose to buy from a car dealership or a private sale vehicle, see what they can offer on the vehicle you are looking at. Take some time to compare different vehicles and see what is available. Make sure that you tell the sales people what the other dealers are offering on comparable vehicles – if they want your business they may be willing to negotiate and give you a great deal.
If the seller can’t do any better, you don’t have to commit, you have the choice to take the deal presented or shake hands and walk away. You may find that they call a few days later and have come up with something for you.
Speak to us
No matter whether you are buying a new or used car, or whether you have even decided which vehicle is perfect for you yet, Kiwi Car Loans can take the hassle out of financing a vehicle with a pre-approval.
Kiwi Car Loans will do all the hard work for you by negotiating with lenders to get you the best deal on your car loan.
Speak to our team today and we'll make all your finance needs easy.
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