Common mistakes first-time car buyers make

September 13, 2018

Buying your first car is exciting. You are finally able to get the freedom and independence you have been craving, and you can find it in any colour you like. But there are some common mistakes that almost everyone makes as a first-time car buyer. You might not shop around enough to find the best deal for used cars for sale in Gauteng or you might not have budgeted for the entire cost of owning a car.

If you are car shopping for the first time, you will want to avoid these mistakes at all costs. Outlined below are the most common ones that many people make when buying their first car.

Not shopping around

Depending on your location, there could be dozens of trusted used car dealers within a short drive of your residence. You should avoid simply stopping at the closest one or the ones that are recommended by social media or friends.

Take time to research car dealerships in your area, as this will help you to find the best deal for your budget. There are plenty of online sources you can use, such as dealer websites and review sites where you can find useful information about your dream car and where to find it. Here you will find customer experience reviews, the dealer’s reputation, as well as financing options. Make a list of the dealers that grab your attention and start by setting appointments to look at their offerings.  

Not calculating the entire cost of your car

Whether you are taking out a loan from a bank or are opting to use the finance offered by the dealership, you will need to calculate the entire cost rather than just your monthly payments. This includes some unseen costs such as petrol consumption and maintenance expenses.

You need to avoid becoming fixated on those monthly payments as you might find yourself disregarding the other costs that come with owning a car. You should also carefully look at any affordable finance very carefully, and make sure you know exactly what percentage the dealer or bank will be charging for interest so that you are not caught unawares and end up paying too much for it.

Not considering used cars

When you are shopping for your first car, more often than not, the shiny new models in the dealer’s lot will catch your eye. Not many people realise that used cars are an excellent first-car option. And there are many used cars for sale in Gauteng that are just as stunning as their new counterparts. 

New cars are not only more expensive, but they also have a higher depreciation rate. You will also have to pay a higher insurance premium on a new car. You might also find that a used car is manufactured better and therefore will last longer than a new model. A new car dealer can only offer you what their manufacturers sell, but a used car dealer has a much more diverse range to choose from.

Skimping on the test drive

Many first-time buyers tend to spend less time on test drives than they should. You should try to familiarise yourself with as much of the car as possible, such as how the steering wheel feels and how to adjust the seats for perfect comfort levels.

A thorough test drive should cover a range of conditions, such as both tarred roads and untarred roads, and you should always remember to take a test drive in silence. This will allow you to hear how the engine runs and whether or not there are any strange noises coming from the engine when you accelerate or idle in traffic. Be sure to include hills in your test drive to gauge the tyre traction and the power of the clutch.

Buying with your eyes (and heart) and not your brain

Of course, you want a new car that is stylish and looks good when you drive around town. But you should think about how you will use the car and what kind of driving you do on a daily basis. Being practical, rather than focusing on style, will help you to choose the best car for your needs and your budget.

If you have your heart set on a shiny new convertible, but your wallet can only give you a 2016 model Ford Figo, listen to your wallet and not your heart. While you know you will look fantastic in a drop-top car, you will not be able to afford those monthly payments. Rather look for used cars for sale in Gauteng. You will not be compromising on quality or appearance, you will simply be lowering the price tag.

Final thoughts

If you do not shop around and do not calculate the full total cost of your new car, you will not be able to find the best deal for your needs and budget. If you only look at new cars and base your choice on the appearance, you will most likely pay much more than you can afford.

Rather look at used cars from trusted used car dealers, and always remember to take a thorough test drive. Soon enough you will be sitting behind the wheel of your new car driving off onto your next adventure.


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