Buying a new car in the new year? Here are 6 things to consider

December 23, 2016

The new year is a time for fresh starts. So, if you’re thinking about buying a new car in the new year, there are several things to think about. When you’re in the market for a new car, everyone has advice on which model, make and colour to purchase. And you know they’re only trying to help but you can’t avoid getting irritated when they all have strong opinions. Then you turn to Google on what to look for and everything is incredibly technical.

Choosing a car is difficult because it’s a big financial decision, especially when you start looking in January. You’re going to spend a large amount of money on something that is definitely not investment. You will lose money on any car you buy, unless it’s a rare classic you plan to fix up. So, you have to think carefully before you make any decisions.

The thing is, no one can tell you what car you should buy. That’s because they don’t know exactly what you need. There are certain things you have to consider that very specific to you in order to find the perfect vehicle. And here are those things.

Your lifestyle

You may think a car is just a way to get from A to B but that’s not necessarily the case. The places you go, the distances you drive, the way you drive and the kinds of roads you drive on all play a part in deciding what vehicle is right for you. Think about it for a minute. Where do you drive to and from every week day? Is it an office in the centre of town and a house in the suburbs? Or is it an industrial area and a fixed up old farmhouse off the beaten track? Then think about where you drive to on weekends.

If you’re an active person who needs their car to lead them to the start of hiking trails, you’ll need a vehicle that can handle dirt roads. But if you’re the indoors type who only needs to drive a short distance to the shop and work, you can afford to spend a lot less cash. What you need your car to be able to do will help you decide whether to shop for cheap cars in Gauteng for under R20 000 (or under R10 000) or more expensive models suited to an adventurous lifestyle in Cape Town.

What you do for a living

It’s simple, if you work for a large corporate and have to take clients out for fancy meals in Gauteng, then there’s no way you can be driving just any cheap car. It’ll look really bad if your car is dilapidated with dents and chipped paint. In that case you need a vehicle that’s more premium looking. No one is going to want to deal with a businessperson who’s driving something that looks like it’s just moments away from being sent to the scrapyard.

But if you don’t deal with clients and you don’t have to keep up appearances for work reasons, then what you drive is up to you and your personal needs.  

Your personal taste

It’s highly likely that you’ll be driving this car every day. This is what you’re going to pitch up to a first date in or arrive in at your best friend’s wedding. If you’re the type of person who cares about appearances, then you don’t want to be driving a second-hand entry level car from 1986. It’s just won’t suit you. It’ll make you feel uncomfortable and embarrassed.

On the other hand, if you like to stand out in traffic then you’ll want to go for a car with loud colours and personal decals. Take a bit of time to think carefully about your personality and your taste. All you really need to do is take a look in the mirror right now and consider what you’re wearing and how you present yourself.

How much you’re willing to spend

This is a big one for obvious reasons. If all the previous points indicate you should be driving a premium car but your bank account disagrees, then you’re going to end up shopping for cheap cars for sale in Gauteng instead. You need to think about the amount of money you have as well as what you need from a car. Your budget has to come first because you don’t want to end up in an incredible amount of debt from a purchase that’s only going to depreciate in value over time.   

How much effort you’re willing to put in

If you do decide to shop for cheap cars then you need to consider buying a car you can fix up as you go along. You’ll save a lot of money this way. However, if you know nothing about cars and have no interest in learning, then make sure you buy a car that’s ready for the road and will require minimum maintenance.

When you’ll be ready to upgrade

If you’re just starting out in your career and you’ll begin earning more as you rise through the ranks, then you can buy a cheaper car and purchase a more expensive vehicle in a few years. But if you don’t want to have to upgrade soon, then you should consider which cars are available that you know will last longer.

Buying a car is a big decision but it’s also an exciting one. Start the new year with a new car that suits your lifestyle, your job, your budget and your future plans.

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