Buying the next vehicle either for yourself or a family member can be a daunting task at the best of time, it possibly ranks up there with moving house or getting married! The decision is made more difficult due to the plethora of vehicles available in the South African market, so some research and planning is important before committing to a car.
Whilst we may all like the colour, lines and sound of a sports car we need to assess what exactly the vehicle will be used for on a daily basis as well as for recreational use on the weekend or holidays. It’s important that you establish a budget in terms of affordability of the monthly repayment as well as insurance. Insurance is critical given that many of the vehicles on our roads are not insured at all. Then one should consider the following:
- Are you buying from a reputable dealership?
- Will you be buying new or used?
- Does the vehicle still have a warranty or maintenance plan?
- Do you have a trade in and will it cover the deposit, are you satisfied with the recommended finance house?
- Asses the features as opposed to those you really need, if buying a 4×4 look at the size and the size of your family, do you need Low Range or would an SUV with High Range only suffice, also evaluate your lifestyle requirements in terms of the configuration, do you need a “bakkie”or a station wagon.
- What are the top 5 features that you absolutely need?
- Petrol vs. Diesel? Manual vs. Automatic?
- Who will be the main driver of the vehicle?
- Look for safety features ( ABS,EBD,VSC,Airbags ,Isofix mounts, NCap safety rating)
- Consider the roads you will drive on as given the damage to our roads a bit of clearance and a high valance is an advantage.
- Will it fit into your garage-check available space?
- Does the manufacturer have a range of approved accessories for the vehicle, especially in the case of a 4×4 or even a vehicle used for sport activities such as cycling or watersports?
- If you intend to travel across borders check the availability of dealerships in neighbouring countries. Also ensure that your insurance policy covers you for repatriation of you family and vehicle as well as offering cover for medical assistance and your accessories ( go to ccic.co.za for more information).
These are just a few basic questions that you need to ask yourself, a well-trained salesperson will more than likely ask them as well. Consult auto publications and websites, dothe necessary comparisons and read reviews. If considering a used vehicle check that size of the dealer network as you would hate to break down in “Blikkiesdorp” and find that there are no parts available.
Do not rush into the purchase of a vehicle, as it is something that you will have to live with for some time- do the homework and even chat to friends and assess their feelings about their own vehicles as well as the dealer network.