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22 January 2020 | 3 min read

#TimeToAdult – A First Timer’s Guide To Buying A Car

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Purchasing your first car marks a significant landmark in your life. It tells the world that this young person is now an adult embarking on the crucial journey of taking responsibility and accountability of their own life. But unlike your new smartphone cover, buying a car cannot be an impulse purchase.

It is probably the biggest purchase you will have made up to that point in your life, and before you get ready to splurge on your new hot ride, there are a lot of parameters you need to take into consideration. And in case you were thinking about getting your first set of wheels, here are a few things you’d be well-served to keep in mind.

Tip – Not good at saving? Fret not because the digibank app has you sorted – you can set a savings goal to buy a car and save towards your goal, complete with time and goal amount. You can download the app here.

Understand the Cost of Ownership

Buying a car will mean a substantial increase in your cost of living. First of all, it is important to figure out how much you can afford to spend on the cost of your car beyond the price tag in the showroom.

Besides the car loan EMI, you will incur maintenance costs, insurance premiums, and the ever-rising fuel charges. So, if you keep a realistic budget, you won’t be taken aback by the new expenses that come with your car.

Map Your Transportation Needs

You may have a rough idea of which model of the car you want to buy. Before giving in to the initial excitement, try to separate your wish list and your actual requirements. One’s wants might include a sunroof and sliding doors, but the needs might come down to good mileage, value for money, and enough seating for family and friends.

Keep aiming for that convertible, but for your first car, base your choice off your actual transport needs rather than aspirational impracticalities.

Do Your Research

The number of choices present to consumers looking to buy cars is virtually endless, but choosing one can also overwhelming. But don’t worry, because research has never been more accessible. With the amount of information available online, you can easily make a well-informed decision.

Besides that, if you know someone with a car you are interested in, make sure you get an account of their first-hand ownership experience. Once you have absorbed all the information, pair it with your intuition and make your choice.

Take a Test Drive

Don’t overlook this reasonably obvious step. A test drive is one of the critical components of buying a car. Make sure to check all the interior features like the air-conditioning and warning lights. Try and take it for a test drive for at least 45 minutes, and take similar routes as your daily commute.

Keep your ears open for unusual sounds while shifting gears, and also check the acceleration and cornering ability while steering. Think of yourself as a doctor performing a full-body check on a mysterious patient before making this huge investment.

Explore Your Options

Whether you are buying a brand new car or a used car, you must keep your options open. In the case of a brand new car, get quotes from a few dealers before going with the one that gives you the best deal. If you are buying a used one, then check online for listings, although it is best to buy directly from an individual.

It is imperative to get a used car thoroughly inspected by a professional to save you any future costs of maintenance. But whether you are buying it from a dealership or an individual, you should always negotiate and push for the best deal you can get.

Ready to start your journey into Fixed Deposits with a saving goals? Find out more here.

by Sadhika Menon
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