If you just got your P-plates and are sick of begging for Mum and Dad’s keys, it’s time to get your own set of wheels. Buying a car is bigger than huge process – it’s completely massive. Where do you start? This is our guide to make finding your first car that little bit easier!
|USED CARS are usually cheaper than new cars on first glance. Depending on the km’s they’ve done and what condition they’re in, you can get a good deal. If you’re not careful, you could inherit a car with numerous reliability, fuel economy and mechanical faults. You’ll save heaps in insurance compared to buying new. But you will be sacrificing new features such as higher ANCAP safety ratings and you may have to sink more into frequent repairs.||NEW CARS do have a high price tag and lose up to 20% of their value driving them off the lot. Even so, you’ll benefit from a new car warranty, scheduled capped-price servicing (if applicable) and better reliability, features and safety across the board. Another plus; financing is usually cheaper than on used vehicles because it’s a lower risk on the road.|
- Start the engine from cold – that is, starting the engine a long time after use. This shows you if there are problems with ignition.s
- Test the car at all speeds – high speeds, low speeds and everything in between.
- Test on a variety of roads – to test cornering and handling.
- Check how well the gears change – if they get stuck often, there may be gearbox problems.
- Do a manual check of all the internal systems and gauges – literally flick everything off and on, seeing they’re in working order.
- Check out weird sounds – especially knocks and rattles from under the bonnet!
- Do an emergency stop – best if you go somewhere secluded. If the brakes are shot, what’s stopping you?
- Check for warning lights – the dreaded lightning bolt in the engine. Look for other lights such as battery or oil. Better yet, check that the lights still work!
Some of us have been saving for a car since we’ve been kids. For those of us who haven’t, we’ll need some kind of CAR FINANCE, more commonly a CAR LOAN.
A financier, bank or lender will give you the money for a car while you pay it back with interest, expressed as a percentage per annum, or per year.
Sometimes people new to credit products and loans have trouble locking in car finance because they have no credit history. Dealers might offer you “zero percent” finance, which can often lead to making your finances worse off in the future.
You should also know about repayment schedules, fees, charges and loan terms (how long it’ll take to pay off the loan.) If you are unsure, talk to a financial professional to figure out your options. They’re friendly, and help heaps of people in the same position as you! Read our comprehensive car loan factsheet for more information.