Buying a Car: What to Consider
When it comes to buying a car, there’s always plenty to think about. Car dealer, or private purchase? NZ new or import? Sedan or wagon? How many kms is too much? Kiwis love their cars (we have the 4th highest number of vehicles per capita in the world!) It’s worth taking the time to get it right. Our top things to consider when buying a car…
Distinguish between needs and wants
Make a wish-list of what you’re looking for in a car, then separate it into two categories: ‘wants’ and ‘needs’. Be honest with yourself here: do you really need that 3Litre 4×4 to get to work and back in the city? Is it worth paying hundreds more just for a different badge on the front?
Sort finance before you shop
It can be easy to get carried away when you step into a car yard or have a squiz online. Especially when you’re buying on finance! It’s a good idea to arrange car finance before you shop so you know exactly how much your repayments would be, and your max budget. You can get pre-approved with The Lending People so you’re all ready to go as soon as you find your dream car.
Avoid future maintenance costs
A used car that’s 20 years old might only have a $3,000 price tag but it might come with a $3,000 maintenance bill in the near future. It’s important to remember cars deteriorate with both years and kms driven. If you get the balance right, paying slightly more for a slightly newer or less km car can be worth it – as long as it’s still in budget! Consider buying a more basic model for less techy gimmicks which can cost a whole lot more when it comes time to fixing.
A fuel efficient car can save you hundreds in petrol costs every year – so should be top of your questions list to sellers! Remember it’s not just about how much it costs to fill up (since cars have different sized petrol tanks). Before purchasing, you can look up a car on this handy website to compare annual petrol costs: http://rightcar.govt.nz/find.html
Avoid buying a lemon!
A few checks can help ensure you’re buying a car that’s been properly maintained, and isn’t a lemon. A lemon at the supermarket might only cost a dollar, but a used car lemon could cost you thousands! Check out our article: Car Buying Tips – Lemon Aid