Buying A Car On A Budget

Sometimes when it comes to purchasing a car on a budget, we tend to go towards as-cheap-as-possible but this isn’t always the best route to take. Knowing your budget and sticking to it is always a good idea but what do the experts say?

Trevor Khumalo says cheap isn’t always best. He says he ignored warnings to shop around for good deals and bought the first car that he loved but a few months later he was full of regret.

“I’m a frugal person, I totally get that but should have listened to my friends. I bought a car that ended up being a huge money pit from constantly having to fix it,” he says.

How to find the right car

Don’t let your heart rule your head. If you can’t afford your dream car, consider bending a bit by buying something more in your price range. Unless you already have a car in mind, you should start by looking:

  • at car magazines
  • at cars on the road
  • on motoring websites
  • at your local car dealerships
  • You could also ask friends, family and work colleagues for recommendations.

Top 10 questions to ask yourself

Now you’ve made sure you can afford a car, it’s time to find out what you can buy within your budget. But first, ask yourself the following questions, all of which are essential when choosing your next car:

  • What length of warranty am I looking for?
  • Do I want one of the safest cars on the road?
  • Do I want a car which will hold its value well?
  • Does my car need to be able to tow a trailer if needed?
  • Would I like to buy one of the most reliable cars?
  • Do I need to be sure the car will fit in my garage?
  • Will I normally be driving short distances or longer journeys?
  • Do I want my car to be environmentally-friendly and economical?
  • How much space do I need for passengers?
  • Do I need to keep running costs such as tax, insurance and fuel to a minimum?

Buying a demo car is also a great idea if that option is available. When compared to traditionally ‘used’ models, a demo offers many upsides. Here are some of the often overlooked benefits that characterise demo car purchases;

  • It will definitely cost less – when you choose to purchase a demo car, you’ll end up with a very significant overall discount
  • The car will be in excellent condition – even though a demo car isn’t new, it’ll definitely be in tip-top condition
  • It’s readily available – while it carries most of the benefits that come with a new vehicle, you can drive it off the dealership on the day your purchase it


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