The smell of new leather, the sight of untarnished paintwork and the touch of that smooth steering wheel – what could be better? The purchase of a new car is an exciting event, often tied to milestones like birthdays, births or promotions. But, is that what we really need? Or would a tried and true second hand car do the job just as well?
Deciding on the right car to buy is a very important decision, so before you rush out and spend tens of thousands of dollars on the latest and greatest model of your dreams, read our tips below.
Figure out the best vehicle for you
When you’re deciding what make and model to buy, you’ll need to take into consideration your family and living situation.
Do you have five kids and two dogs or are you a double income no kids household? The answer to these questions will have a big impact on your choice.
There’s no point in purchasing a two seater convertible, as your primary vehicle, if it doesn’t fit the kids. Similarly, a family wagon probably isn’t necessary if you’re a single living on your own.
Another factor to consider is how often you’ll use the vehicle. If you’re buying it for the purpose of the occasional weekend trip, you could probably get away with purchasing an older or lower cost model. However, if its purpose is shuttling you to and from work every day, reliability is key.
Establish a price range and stick to it!
When browsing for your next vehicle it’s easy to fall in love with a specific model and compromise on your budget, but sticking to this is of the utmost importance. If you’re financing the car, you’ll be making monthly or fortnightly payments meaning this amount will determine what type of car you can afford.
So if your budget isn’t huge, a second-hand vehicle may be the way to go. Alternatively, you could also consider a smaller low-cost new car.
The vehicle isn’t the only cost you need to take into consideration – there are transfer fees, registration and, if it doesn’t have one, a roadworthy certificate. This can add up, so make every dollar count and shop around.
Dealer, private seller or an auction?
There are positives and negatives to all three of these options. If you choose to go to a private seller make sure you check-off all the paperwork with the owners and ensure they show you:
Current registration papers
Safety check report or a pink slip that's no more than 28 days old
A Roadworthy Certificate
Proof of ownership
If you want a warranty you’ll have to buy at a dealership, which could be more expensive, but if it’s peace of mind you’re after this might be the best option. Dealers have to provide a warranty on cars under 10 years old that have travelled under 160,000km. So consider this route if you’re looking for a newer and more reliable second hand vehicle.
If it’s a bargain you’re after then buying at an auction might be for you. The downfall to this is that there's no warranty, no test drives and no inspections but you could save yourself hundreds. If you do choose this avenue, make sure you check the paperwork and do your research to ensure there are no debts, previous accidents or owners listed against the car.
Get it inspected
Before you buy anything ask your local mechanic to come and check out the vehicle. It’s all well and good for the seller to tell you that there’s nothing wrong with the vehicle, but you can’t get your money back once you drive away. Better to be safe than sorry when buying an item with such a high monetary value.
At the very least this will provide you with peace of mind and might be the push you need to make a deal.
Sort out your finances
If you’ve decided to purchase a car the next thing you’ll need to consider is your finances. If you’ve saved the cash necessary to buy the car outright this might not be as big of a consideration. But if you’re looking to obtain finance, you’ll need to do your research before committing to anything.
Liberty offers a great range of car finance options to suit your needs. For more information click here.
Now that you’ve thought through all the nitty gritty of your purchase, it’s time to make a deal. By doing this pre-work you’ll ensure that the vehicle you buy suits your needs, budget and lifestyle.