Buying your first car can test all of your sensibilities: Should it be manual or automatic transmission? Should it be blue or red? What about the more serious qualities: How much petrol does the car consume per 100 kilometres. Should it be second-hand or fresh off the lot? And the car insurance – how much would you be expected to pay? Luckily Hippo.co.za decided to compile a guide, the ultimate guide, in fact, aimed at those making decisions involved in buying their first cars.
Some of the lifestyle factors which Juliet McGuire from Women on Wheels identifies in order to get you started on your car search include:
Do you plan on having kids?
Do you travel a lot? You may need a boot that is big enough for all your bags.
Do you lead an active lifestyle and therefore need space for sporting equipment?
Do you just need space for a few shopping bags or a zippy car that will get you from A to B quickly and safely?
How much of a priority is safety for you?
Are you single, married, share a car, do most of the driving, etc? These can make a difference to your choice of car.
Most importantly, what is your current budget? You may not want to live beyond your means and, therefore, it's best to consider all the costs involved in owning a car before making your decision.
Elrico Bellingan from LUXO identifies the car's style – both interior and exterior – as something of importance in the decision to purchase. He had the following to say:
"Choosing a car is very much like shopping in the fashion industry – everyone has their own taste, their own sense of style and each person likes different items for different reasons. It is not something you should rush into. It requires careful consideration, as the decision you make when buying a car can have many effects at a later stage. The colour of a car is very important – always consider resale of a car – you might love green, but how many others are interested in that colour? Some colours are also more accident prone, according to many studies; so when in doubt – go for classic colours including white or silver."
After answering all of the questions and dealing with the style of the car, it's best to fetch someone who knows a bit more about cars for the next part. A smart move would be to go with one of your local mechanics and begin building a relationship with him by allowing his opinion on such a significant purchase. The mechanic should help you buy a car with locally sourced parts because, from CV joints to wheel bearings, local is cheaper and easier to source. He should also be able to check the general 'health' of the car, from tyre treads to mileage.
When buying second-hand, Gary McCraw of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) gives this advice:
Verify if the vehicle has ever been in an accident or not, as this could cause problems in future
Check the mileage. The mileage should be reasonable when calculated – approximately 25 000 – 30 000 kilometres per year.
So, as you can see, whether you have a mental checklist or not, there are plenty of things to consider when purchasing a new vehicle, let alone how it will look with you in the driver's seat. Enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you did your due diligence before bargaining for your first taste of vehicular freedom.
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