Buying a car is a huge financial decision and one that will impact you for years to come. It’s also a really exciting purchase to make, and the process of shopping around and going for test drives while you make a decision can be a lot of fun.
Putting serious thought into this investment is crucial. You don’t want to end up regretting how much you’ve spent or the car you chose to buy simply because you were impulsive or didn’t do enough research. When you’re thinking of buying a new vehicle, here are a few important things to consider.
First of all, you need to consider how you’ll be paying for the vehicle. There are many different ways to do this – in cash, or with a loan, of which there are many different types to think about.
Personal Contract Purchase is the most popular option. However, be aware that PCP terms are often mis-sold, leading to you being overcharged. While you can set things straight with PCP compensation claims, this is something you’ll want to avoid upfront.
You’ll also want to consider the pros and cons of a balloon payment, the interest rates you’ll be paying, and most importantly, how much you actually have to spend.
The cost of your car doesn’t stop at the price you see at the dealership or on the online listing. Unfortunately, there are many other expenses associated with car ownership that will need a place in your budget for years to come.
Some of these costs include insurance premiums, routine maintenance, regular tyre care and replacement, battery replacement, repairs not covered by insurance, licensing and registration and fuel, of course.
Make sure that all of these will fit into your budget alongside the monthly loan repayment you’ve agreed to, or you might find yourself in financial trouble.
While shopping around, keep in mind that you need a car to match your lifestyle. Having a family, kids, pets, a long-term partner or being single will all play a role in the type of car you need to buy. Not to mention where you live, how often and how far you drive, what you do for a living and other hobbies you might have.
Remember to think about all of these elements when car shopping. For example, a large family of five who enjoys outdoor adventures like camping would need a much bigger and more rigged vehicle than a single female who lives in the city.
Finally, you need to think about the next few years of your life. Are you planning on living in the same place or relocating? Do you want to start a family in the near future? Do you want to drive the vehicle for as long as possible, or would you prefer to drive it for only a year or two and then sell your car in favour of a newer model?
These elements are, yet again, crucial to think about in terms of what car you should buy, what you can afford and which financing option you should take.