Advice when buying a car

Here are some simple steps to follow when buying a car

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1. What type of car do I need?

If you can work out what you need from a car rather than what you want you will soon find out what is the right car is for you. Have a think about what you actually use your car for. Too often, people buy a car because it looks good. This can mean you break your budget or have to buy another car soon. Always make sure your needs and not your wants, drive your decision.

Here are some questions to think about before you start:

* Will the car be a first or second car?
* Do you want a manual or automatic transmission?
* Do you really need four-wheel drive?
* What safety features do you want?
* Do you require a lot of luggage-carrying capacity?
* Will you be doing any towing?
* Will the car easily fit in your garage or parking area?
* How many people do you need to transport?
* What kind of driving do you most often do?
* How long is your commute?
* Is it important that your next vehicle not too heavy on the fuel?

2. How much do you want to spend?
If you do not have the total amount of cash then you have to have a monthly payment that will fit into your budget. How much should this be?

As a rule of thumb the best advice is that your total monthly car payments – whether you own one car or more than one – should never exceed 20 percent of your monthly take-home pay.

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3. Have you added up all of the costs of ownership?

One car can be cheaper to buy, but more expensive to own. Why? Even if two cars cost about the same amount of money to buy, one can depreciate at a different rate or cost a lot more to insure or maintain. Before you buy a new car always estimate the long-term ownership costs of the vehicle including depreciation, insurance, maintenance and fuel costs.

4. Research options.
You should now have a good idea about what car you need. There could be a few cars that fit your criteria. Now is the time to narrow that choice down.

Car buyers have been trained to visit local dealerships to find the car they want. In the Internet age, this is a waste of time and money. Visit the manufacturers site and check what options are available.

5. Schedule an appointment for a test drive.
At this point you can contact a company like and they will give you great advice guiding you through the process to get the cheapest deal humanly possible. They will do the deal for you and can even organise test drives at dealers convenient to your location. sources the lowest price for a given specification. Some of the resources they use include a 900+ strong dealership network and a combined car industry experience of more than 40 years. They price cars every day of the week, and do it quickly and efficiently.

If you prefer to go to the dealerships yourself, be aware of the usual dealer tactics before you become a victim. Take this advice when visiting the car dealership.

Ring the dealership and explain that you are not yet buying but just want a test drive. The standard trick by the sales person is to invent a reason for having to ring you back. He/she wants you in his/her database and will then ring you daily (or at least every second day) until you buy.

Some customers choose to avoid this by not giving out their phone number.

6. The test drive

When you arrive at the dealership you should make it clear that you are not yet ready to buy a car as you are still doing your research.

The aim of a test drive is to experience – as closely as possible – the same type of driving conditions the car will be used if you buy the car. If you commute, drive the car in both stop-and-go traffic and at freeway speeds. If you frequently drive into the mountains find some steep grades to climb. Drive over bumps, take tight corners and test the brakes in a safe location, such as a deserted car park.

Get in and out of the car several times and sit in the back seat to see how much room passengers will have. In short, ask yourself what it will be like to live with this car for a number of years.

While you are evaluating the car, don’t listen to the salesperson. They rarely give you good advice. Turn the radio off as this is another distraction. A new car is a big investment; make sure you spend enough time really looking at it. And then, consider one last thing: your intuition. If you are uneasy about this car, follow your instincts. A vehicle purchase decision is too important (and expensive) to undertake without total confidence.

7. After the test drive.

After the test drive, you should leave the car dealership. You will probably need to drive other types of cars at other dealerships. It’s a good idea to do all of your test driving in one morning or afternoon. Driving the cars back to back will help you uncover even minor differences, which will lead to a more educated purchase decision.
The sales person will do his/her utmost not to lose track of you. In some cases, he will even offer to go with you to your next dealership to look at another make. The best way to stop this from happening is not to tell him anything about where you are going and leave no phone number.

8. Researching the Price Online
Note: Car dealers often usually quote prices excluding “on the road costs” and in some cases without GST, thereby neglecting to mention several thousand dollars that you need to pay in order to take ownership. You should always ask for the total on the road cost, including registration.

If you prefer to research prices online check out the price of cars free at this site:

Check the price of cars

Or have a look at ebay

9. Making the purchase.
You should now have considered all the cars in the class that interest you. You should have a good idea what you can afford. You should know if you want to buy or lease your next car. You should have test driven your top choices.

Now it’s time to narrow your choices down to one car purchase it.
If your choices are similar cars (which is very likely), the prices will be similar. They are most likely competing against each other, and any discounting by one is usually matched by the other.

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