10 Things Every First-Time Car Owner Should Know

Look at you getting ready to purchase your first car. We are so proud of you for getting to the point where you want to offer yourself the convenience and easy travel to your destinations. We know the stress of owning your first car can be a bit much. But, worry not, in this article, we will give you tips and tricks on all things first-car-buyer related to ensure that you know which road you will be getting yourself onto. 

Before Buying

Tip 1: Research Over Me-Search

The first step to getting your first car is to research as much as you can about the different options you have. By options, we mean; the type of car you want, whether it’s new or used, from which car dealer you should get it, and things such as warranty and guarantee. Remember, a guarantee is non-existent in a used car, but there is a warranty you can take advantage of depending on what your car dealership’s policy is. So, start by researching where you will be getting your car and for how much. And, don’t forget to always compare dealerships.

Tip 2: The M-Word

Yes, money! Before buying your car, you have to remember that a car is not just a once-off payment kind of asset. It will need maintenance after you drive off your dealership, so you need to be prepared. Our tip is to save up as much as you can for rainy days or look into the type of insurance you can get for your car in order not to struggle. While there is no discount, vouchers or tips on how to get cheaper fuel for your car, we advise you to invest in promotional packages from grocery stores and filling stations, which will earn you points that you might use to fuel up every now and then. 

Tip 3: Test Drive For The Best Drive 

Always allow yourself to get a feel of what your new baby will be like on the road with you in the driver’s seat. You want to know what your car feels and sounds like, and a pro-tip from us would be to take someone you know and trust with you to the dealership to help you decide if the car is suitable for you and the road, especially if you intend on visiting a used car dealership. You should also look into reputable and respectable car dealerships that also have people ready to help you with your test drive and all your needs. 

The Buying Process 

Now that you know what car to get and where to look, let’s look at how you can get value for your money and negotiate to suit your affordability. 

Tip 4: Ask Question And You Shall Receive Answers 

A lot of first-time car buyers are afraid to ask questions for too many reasons to state here. However, your car dealership’s sales and customer service representatives exist in the business to give you all the information you need about your potential car, payment options, mileage (if used), and so much more. Here’s a trick: as soon as you think a question is too basic to ask, shoot it out and ask it immediately because you might find that your car sales or customer service representative have forgotten to mention the very thing you are asking about. Curious minds make great car choosers or something along those lines. 

Tip 5: Can You Insure? You Should Insure 

Whether you are buying a new or used car, it is important to have it protected in the unlikely event of an accident or any kind of mishap. We know life is unpredictable, so it is wise to start looking into insurance as soon as you buy your car. Here’s a hack: Add your car to your household/asset and life insurance policies in order to reduce your premiums. You stand a better chance when using one insurer for all your assets. 

Tip 6: Get Your Value Added Extras 

When buying a new car, there are a few value-added services you receive as well as benefits such as a guarantee and some service plans. With a used car, you will find that if it is from a reputable dealership, it already has undergone full service and is in the best shape it could be. A trick would be to negotiate with your dealership that, should your car give you problems in a set period, you can take it in for inspection. Plus, you can ask your used car dealership to connect you with the mechanical company that can handle your car in case you need to fix it. If you are buying your car cash, there are also benefits such as a reduced amount and other benefits you can get, so, once again….do not be afraid to speak up and negotiate.  

Tip 7: Be Credit Courteous

Finance experts say that as a new car buyer and credit-active consumer, you have the opportunity to build a pristine credit profile. This means making all your payments on time and in full. It also means ensuring that you don’t live on credit. If you borrow as little as possible and always pay back on time, you’re saving money – and also showing that you’re reliable. 

Houston, We Have Lift-Off 

Once you buy your car and are ready to hit the road, there are a few things you need to prepare for. Worry not; the list is almost done, and soon you will be able to enjoy your new set of wheels. 

Tip 8: Your Car Is Yours To Maintain 

While you may have the advantages of a mechanic on speed dial or your car dealership’s app available to assist you if need be, you need to learn to take care of your car so it can take care of you. That means investing in regular cleaning and maintenance, checking things such as tire pressure, and fuels from time to time. This is to avoid any unpleasant surprises you may find yourself in. If you use your car regularly, always monitor things such as headlights, brakes and emergency/roadside assist kits. When you have insurance, most of them are usually always ready to assist you should you get stuck on the road. 

Tip 9: Drive Like Everyone Isn’t 

South Africa is prone to many motor vehicle accident cases every year, and good driving is an essential part of avoiding such. A tip from Arrive Alive is that you should always drive defensively as risk-takers are collision makers. It is South African law to always drive with a seatbelt on, and it is safe for you, so do that always. Remember to always research your roads before travelling, especially if it will be your first time. 

Tip 10: Enjoy Your Car 

A first-time car buyer is usually met with some degree of stress regarding whether they made the right choice or not, and the responsibilities of owning a car may seem a bit overwhelming. Worry not; there are a lot of communities that exist to help new car owners get a gist of what is going on – from how to finance your car to how to take care of it, so find your tribe and flourish. 

Final Words 

Buying a car can be affordable with the right financial backing, so if you haven’t accumulated enough money to buy your new baby cash, then perhaps you should consider vehicle finance or graduate finance, depending on your needs and what you qualify for. There are many ways for you to be able to get the car of your dreams or desires. All you have to do is ask and research. See you on the road.

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