Buying a car can be a major purchase in your life and it’s not always an easy process. After all, the ultimate goal is to get the best deal possible. Remember, poor financial decisions can hurt your budget and can lead to economic problems in the long run if they are not being planned well. Thus, you have to find out what is needed every step of the way before you make a final decision.
Before focusing on details, try to see the bigger picture to avoid hassles or something that you may regret later on. Remember these suggestions you might want to consider in order to get the best deal possible that suits your needs and budget.
- Define your purpose before buying a car
The first thing to consider when buying a car is to define your exact purpose of buying it. Why are you buying a car? What will you use it for? Should it be for transportation or is it because of a growing number of family members? Do you have a plan to use your car for extra income by renting it as well?
Whatever the reason, make an honest evaluation whether purchasing a car is a legitimate financial decision.
- Compare brand new models vs. second hand cars
You might want to consider the pros and cons between a brand new car over a used vehicle. Of course, brand new cars entail low maintenance compared with cars that have been used for years. If you plan to buy a second-hand car, make sure you carefully inspect if it still in good condition.
Whether it be a brand new or used car, you will also need to consider your budget. The best move is to shop around and do extensive research so you can make an informed decision. It’s a mistake to arrive at a car lot or showroom without first researching the car you want to buy.
- Consider your budget including the financing options
Be realistic about what you can afford. If the monthly payments are too high for the car you want, you’re trying to buy a car that’s too expensive. How much budget are you willing to set aside every month to pay for it?
There are only two options in terms of payment: cash or applying for financing. Whether in-house financing or bank loan, a good suggestion is you might want to check the interest rate and your current work contract. Assess your budget and find out if you can afford to pay the long-term amortization. Learn to negotiate with car dealer to get the best deal.
- Double check the coverage of the car insurance
I have had some minor car accidents after driving in Thailand for almost 10 years. I remember our car was hit by another vehicle and told myself, “It’s going to be fine as I have insurance.” But when I filed a claim, the insurance company told me that they would not cover the repairs because my insurance was Class B.
In my experience, having a comprehensive car insurance is ideal compared to Compulsory Third Party insurance (CTP) because it does not cover damage to your vehicle or other vehicles. For instance, Class A insurance has comprehensive insurance coverage and protection from collision, theft, fire and other related external factors. Thus, you will be free from financial liability when accidents happen.
- Always test drive the car
You must do a test drive before purchasing a vehicle. Why? You want to test drive the car for many reasons, but safety and comfort should be foremost in your mind. There are some cars that you just won’t feel comfortable driving and may not be suitable for your needs.
Check everything from handling and brakes to other controls including safety features. Ensure the engine is smooth and quiet while running. Bring your trusted mechanic if you want to make it sure the car is still in good condition, particularly if you’re planning to purchase a used car.
Car ownership entails a huge responsibility and maintenance effort. Understand that a large portion of the financial difficulties in your life are likely because of poor choices that eventually led to debt. As buying a car requires an intelligent financial decision, the key to get the best deal is to research each and every aspect of the important process.
There’s no need to hurry. Seek advice from a trusted friend who has an experienced purchasing a car. Above all, pray for God’s wisdom so He will bless you and guide you in your financial decision.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. –Proverbs 16:3, NIV
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