What To Ask Before Buying A Car

Nothing is quite as exciting as shopping around for a new car and finally deciding which one to settle on. Most people will attest to the fact that nothing beats the smell of a brand-new car’s interior. The truth is that shopping for a car is never an easy task. Sure, it seems like it would be a simple process, especially with all of the dealers and for sale signs you see all the time. But when it actually comes to deciding which car to buy, things get complicated.

That’s why you’ve got to know what you’re looking for. In the search for a car, playing detective is the best way to go. Ask lots of questions, get to the bottom of answers, and find out what’s really going on with the car you’re about to spend a lot of money on. Phumlani Nkambule, Business Development Head – Wesbank Commercial, shares a few tips;

General Questions to Ask

  • How much can I afford to spend? Make sure you know your budget before you go looking. Also look out for good discounted promotions by dealerships. These discounts usually carry good savings positively impacting your affordability. Amongst the most important costs to consider is insurance, monthly service and new tyres from time. You might also want to consider the cost of a tracking device. Tracking devices come in handy to drive your insurance costs down.
  • What car size do I need? This will help you narrow it down based on things like how big your family is, if you will need to haul a lot of stuff and the type of terrain you will be driving on. Before deciding, consider what your short to medium term goals are, for example you might be looking to start a family and hence buying a small car might not be the right move as it can quickly move to a position where your needs are note being met.
  • How will I use this car? Depending on your personal and or business needs, you may need a specific kind or type of car. E.G will you be spending a lot of time off-road? Rough terrain is not good for vehicles so you may need to consider the vehicle strength, durability and floor height i.e. 4X2 vs 4×4.
  • Can I take it on a test drive? Always make sure you try the car before you buy. This is especially true for Used vehicle. Whilst pre-owned vehicles may have enticing values, the cost of buying the vehicle may not be worth it if you find yourself having to fix the vehicles due to mechanical problems you were not aware of. It is important to check for warranty. Try to buy from dealers that can guarantee their product.
  • What fees will I pay in addition to the price? Consider other such as registration, delivery fees and well as finance initiation fees. Also make sure that the vehicle has being quoted to you inclusive of VAT to avoid unnecessary surprises. .

What kind of financing can you provide me? It will be important to speak to your vehicle finance officer to help you determine your affordability range. The officer will help you answer questions like, how much deposit if any should I put in and what’s the maximum loan term I can get. The newer the vehicle model, the more bargaining power you gain for a longer term.

  • What’s the warranty coverage and do you want to consider an extended service plan? New cars will usually have some kind of warranty coverage so make sure you understand the period and under what conditions will the warranty kick in. For peace of mind we encourage that you also make your purchase with a service plan. Whilst this will cost you just a bit more upfront, you will ‘breathe easy’ for period in which the service plan is taken.
  • Will you give me a trade-in on my car? If you’re buying a new car from a dealer, they may have good incentives for trading in your current car depending on its condition and value. This helps subsidise the cost of buying the new vehicle and hence improves your affordability
  • How valuable will this car be in a few years? If you’re buying with a resale in mind, this is a great question to ask. If you think it will lose a lot of value quickly, it might be a good idea to pass. All else equal, it is known that the rate at which vehicles lose value over time will defer per brand.
  • Are there any aftermarket parts on the car? Some dealerships will sell new cars with add-ons, such as alarm systems, tinted windows and mud flaps which can significantly boost a new vehicle’s price. These add-ons aren’t always mentioned up so make sure you check


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