Buying a new car ca be quite a daunting experience for many newcomers or first-time drivers. The smell of fresh leather, an untouched interior, flashy new gadgets and a spotless exterior make a new car very tempting. The combination of having such a vast selection of cars in the market to choose from and getting into a large financial commitment can intimidate first time buyers, turning this exciting occasion into a stressful nightmare.

It may be a smarter financial move to buy a preowned car, but it could also take away from the excitement of being the first to own your car. New cars depreciate from the very moment you drive them out of the dealership whereas preowned cars have already gone through that depreciation. The option of buying a preowned car might make more financial sense but used cars come with a lot of risks especially for uninformed buyers.

Buying your first car is quite a big step. If you are considering buying a brand-new car you may have already worked out a budget. Your affordability is not always based on how much money you can spend right now but t also comprises of how much money you will be able to afford to pay for your monthly car installment. Unless of course if you have a lump sum saved up and you’re looking at buying your car cash once-off.

You need to have a realistic budget. Take a look at what your current financial responsibilities are and what you have left after meeting all of those obligations. By doing this you can identify and prioritize your wants.

Do your research. An impulsive buy is never a good idea because there will always be something better or a better deal hidden if you look for just a little bit longer. Take your time to compare prices, models, functions and safety features of different vehicles.  Try and go on a few test drives. Your dream car may not be as practical or comfortable as it looks. After taking it for a spin you might find a few things that you are not so impressed with which may change your mind about the purchase.

With the high level of online scams going on, when buying a secondhand car it is always advisable to see it first-physically. Don’t believe everything you see in pictures, for all you know it could be old pictures or pictures of someone else’s car and not of the car that you are planning to buy. Most of these fraudulent ads offer deals that, at most times, are too good to be true. Always make sure that the car you are purchasing is roadworthy and all necessary paperwork is up to date and in order.

Whether you are a student or new to the workforce, buying a car is a very pleasant experience so make sure that you tick all the correct boxes and you’ll be ready to drive away in the car of your dreams.

By Noni Nchwe