Buying a car, whether new or used, is a decision that cannot be made lightly. After all, a car is the second most expensive thing most of us will purchase after a house.
This circuit-breaker period has made us slow down, pause and think. Worldwide, economies are suffering and businesses require help to stay afloat.
But if you still want to buy a car, here are the key points that you should consider and discuss.
DO YOU REALLY NEED A CAR?
This is the first question that must always be answered prior to buying a car. And now that many of us are at home, there’s plenty of time to discuss this with your spouse and/or family.
Undoubtedly, many who are thinking of buying a car want to do so for security and convenience.
Having your own vehicle means you avoid crowds on public transport. It’s also more convenient to shop for essentials with your own vehicle, instead of waiting for delivery slots from online merchants.
That said, having a car is a big financial commitment. If you want to play it safe in the meantime, deferring the purchase is a wise decision.
Apart from monthly instalments, a car comes with numerous other costs, many of which you can’t avoid.
These include road tax, insurance and season parking. You’ll also need to fuel and maintain your car. These expenses can really add up, so budget accordingly.
IS IT SAFE?
Think about how safe the car you’re eyeing is. Key features to note include a body made with high-tensile strength steel, ESP or traction control and a blind spot monitor.
Multiple airbags (not just for the front passengers) and three-point seatbelts for every occupant are a must, too.
NEW OR USED?
Generally speaking, a used car costs less and has lower depreciation compared to a new one. On the other hand, though more expensive, a new car still has full warranty coverage, which gives buyers extra peace of mind.
However, the older a car is, the more likely it is to “fall sick” and require repairs. Replacing worn parts mean added expenses. Also, an engine becomes less efficient with age, leading to higher running costs.
BUYING THE “RIGHT” CAR
The circuit-breaker period is a time to “cool off” before buying a car.
It is easy for enthusiasts to choose a car with performance and handling in spades. But if you have a family in tow, carefully consider the car you’ll be buying. Does it suit your family members as well?
Also, if you can, go with a less expensive option. For instance, if you were considering a mid-size vehicle, perhaps you should consider a compact one instead.
The reason for this is that nobody knows when economies will begin to recover. So, it pays to be prudent until things become more certain.
Here’s how you can buy a car during the circuit-breaker period