Buying a car is one of the biggest purchases we all make in our lives, yet many people head off to the car yard unprepared.
A car is often a deeply personal purchase: buyers can be lead by impulse to make expensive decisions. Therefore, before kicking the wheels at the car yard or clicking the deals online, Kent Marlow from NRMA Car Loans says it’s important consumers do their homework.
“Even before car buyers start looking, they should know how much they want to spend, how much they want to borrow and what sort of loan they want to take out,” he says.
“Taking out a car loan can be confusing, so we want to give our Members the right information to take out the best car loan for them. We want to save them money, but we’re also here to help them through the steps they need to take to get their loan approved.”
NRMA Car Loans has compiled some top tips to help first car buyers, but it’s advice that applies to all car buyers.
1. Have a sensible budget
A high performance or luxury car can be seductive, but you can easily fall into the financial trap of paying back more than you can afford for something that loses its value the minute you drive it out of the dealership.
Plan your budget carefully and work out your finances so that paying off your car is not a struggle, but simply a managed expense. Make sure you know exactly what your outgoings will be by using a loan calculator, such as the one offered by the NRMA.
2. Balance your wants and needs
Wanting a car and needing a car are two very different things. Sometimes the two come together, but remember not to fall for bells and whistles that serve no purpose. What will be the car’s primary use? How often will you drive it? Do you need an MP3 connection? Make a list of everything you need and want and find a happy compromise.
3. Safety first
All cars sold in Australia are given a safety rating of between one and five stars, according to the Australasian New Car Assessment Program and the Used Car Safety Ratings report. The three major safety categories are crash avoidance, crash protection and driver comfort. Each car is assessed according to these and other specifications to determine its rating. While a smaller and older car will cost less, it will likely be far less safe than larger and later vehicles.
4. Research! Research! Research!
You can never be too prepared. Get online and read up on different models, safety features and financing. And don’t forget to test-drive the cars you’re interested in! Visit NRMA Car Loans for information.
Have you ever bought a car on impulse?