Lifestyle

Our Top Tips for Buying a Car

With so many brands, models and sizes of cars on the market it can be a bit of a nightmare choosing a car that is right for you.

Cars are the second highest investment you will make other than your house. Most car owners turn their cars over on average every five to seven years, so you want to make sure you have a reliable car you will have for years to come.

We  recently bought a new Subaru Levorg as a family car, which took us a few months to decide on. We wanted a car that would last longer than the car we had at the time (we bought the Holden Captiva new and at only four years old, it needed a lot of mechanical work done on it). Before the last vehicle, we had a Subaru Liberty. It was over ten years old when we sold it and we never had any problems with it.

My Mazda 6 is nine years old and I haven’t had any issues with it at all but will be looking to update in the next few years.

We were disappointed and angry that a new car wouldn’t even last the length of our car loan and we had to refinance to buy a new car. I think the saying “Poor man buys twice” also applies to cars. The less you pay for a car, the more you tend to spend on mechanical repairs. You certainly get what you pay for. I’m not saying everyone needs a top of the range car but to be mindful of the reputation of the brand you are looking to buy.

So how do you work out what car you want or need? Here are our tips for buying the perfect car for you:

Know your budget

First, make sure you have the budget for a car. As well as the on road price, factor in the yearly costs of registration, insurance, maintenance and fuel. Most people will need a car loan to finance a new car and fortunately, you can use an online loan calculator to see what the repayments will be and ultimately, how much you can afford to borrow.

Size and practicality

Obviously, a single person or couple aren’t going to need a huge seat seat 4WD (unless they are into off road pursuits. Just as a family isn’t going to buy a two door coupe.

The main things to think of are: How many seats will I need? How much boot space will suit my requirements? Do I need a car that can go off road? Do I need a fuel efficient car? What about Eco/hybrid/electric cars? City driving or long trips? What features would you like or need?

New or Used?

New cars depreciate as soon as they are driven out the dealership’s gate, losing thousands off the purchase price. However, if you want a new car, I recommend buying an ex-demo or previous year’s plated model. As the new model comes in, the dealership will be trying to sell off their current models at a discount.

If you are in the market for a used car, make sure it has low km’s on it and get it checked over with a vehicle inspection by RACV, NRMA, RACQ or equivalent in your state. The fee is well worth the peace of mind of knowing you haven’t bought a lemon with a lot of problem. You shouldn’t have to spend money and time on repairs of a car you just purchased.

We hope our tips have helped with your next car purchase.

 

#SP This was a sponsored post in collaboration with NRMA as per our Disclosure Policy. All opinions are our own.

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