6 Tips to consider when buying a car

We provide top tips to avoid common mistakes when buying a car

Sheryl Thiel
tips for buying a car
buying a car
car buyer tips

There are lots of things that you should do when it comes to buying a car – but there are also lots of common mistakes which people make. Chances are everyone has committed at least one of the mistakes on the list below:


1. Not doing your homework

One of the worst mistakes you can make when buying a car is to not do your homework. It really is a good idea to put plenty of research into what kind of cars are on the market, what type of vehicle will suit the needs of you and your family and, most importantly, what cars are safely within your budget.


2. Ignoring online research

Don’t forget that the internet can be a very valuable resource when you are starting out with your car shopping adventure. It helps not only for finding honest and unbiased reviews of car models, but also for finding and comparing the prices of the same vehicle at different dealerships in your area.


3. Ignoring test drives

The internet may be a great place to do some research, but whatever you do, don’t buy a car based solely on online reviews and photographs. After all, the only way you can really figure out if a vehicle is the right one for you is to get behind the wheel yourself. Whether you are buying from a dealership or a private sale, you must insist on a test drive before you hand over your hard-earned cash.


4. Not understanding how much the total car loan will cost

Most people need to take out a loan to pay for a new car. Not many of us are lucky enough to have several thousand Rands sitting in our bank accounts! While it is important to get a loan that has affordable monthly payments, too many people become fixated on that monthly figure and don’t bother working out how much they’re going to be paying overall before they sign on the dotted line.


5. Ignoring long term costs

Many consumers only look at the sticker price when they go to the local dealership to buy a new car, failing to take into consideration all the different long-term costs associated with owning and operating their own car. This is a mistake which is even more common among people who are buying their very first car, as they have simply no idea just how expensive it is to pay for fuel, car insurance and the seemingly never-ending mechanical repairs when you have your own set of wheels.


6. Choosing looks over function

There are lots of good reasons to choose one car over another, but there are also lots of bad reasons! Lots of consumers choose to buy a car based on how it looks or even its colour, despite the fact that these have no influence on how efficient the vehicle will be or whether it will suit their needs. The car you buy has to meet your needs, and it might be that you have to change your mind about what type of vehicle you want to buy if you discover that the make and model you have your heart set on isn’t able to do what you need it to do. There is little point in purchasing a 2-door sporty number if you have 4 kids. Where exactly are you planning on putting the kids?


If you do your homework, open your eyes to the true costs of owning a car, and avoid making expensive mistakes (like ignoring the financing terms), you can get a good car at a good price. And that’s the goal.