Buying a new car is an exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming. Purchasing a vehicle is a big decision, & it seems like the checklist of things to know before signing goes on forever. If the car buying experience is leaving you dazed and confused, refer to this checklist of five key points to consider before buying your next car
When buying a car, a good first step is to think about your personal needs for the vehicle, such as size. Will you be hauling or towing things? Do you need to transport pets, kids, or equipment that takes up a lot of space? Then bigger might be better for you—something with a lot of horsepower and storage space to get your cargo where it needs to be. Or perhaps a smaller car better suits your busy city life with its nimble size allowing it to zip around congested streets and squeeze into the smallest of parking spaces.
Another significant factor to consider is fuel economy. What kind of car would be most beneficial to how you drive? The dealership typically shows you the combined fuel economy as L/100kms. For highway driving without frequent stops and changes in speed, you can estimate fuel economy with this figure.
However, in cities, frequent stops increase engine workload and lower your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. In this case, you may wish to buy a car with eco-friendly features such as automatic engine shut off when the vehicle is stopped or hybrid engines that use electricity at lower speeds.
Arguably the most vital factor to consider when shopping for cars is the safety rating. About 40,000 people per year are gravely injured or killed in accidents in New Zealand and Australia. You can look up vehicle safety ratings with the Australian New Car Assessment Programme. The ANCAP tests and rates cars up to five stars based on how well vehicle occupants and other road users such as cyclists were protected in the crash and the effectiveness of the safety assist features.
Knowing how you drive is an important factor in buying a car, but knowing you’re driving safely is what matters most. When researching new cars NZ, going with a safe and reputable brand gives you peace of mind.
If you were purchasing a used car from someone, you would likely want to know about the vehicle’s past. How many kilometres on the odometer? How many previous owners? Any accidents? Although with a new car the answer to all of the previous questions should be “none”, you can still research the history using the New Zealand Transport Agency. The NZTA catalogues mechanical issues and recalls by year, make, and model; researching older models of the vehicle you’re considering will give you an estimate of regular maintenance.
Last but certainly not least, the most intimidating part of buying a car for most: the price. First, you need to ascertain your income and expenses to budget for a down payment and loan payments. Your down payment can be supplemented by trade-in value if you currently own a vehicle. Then you will most likely need to get a loan, or how much to borrow at what interest rate for a set period. Finally, consider insurance payments. While insurance is not compulsorily required in New Zealand, accidents can happen at any time, and paying for repairs out of pocket can become costly.
Buying a new car is a complex experience. For new and experienced car buyers alike, it can be easy to get swept up in the wave of numbers or lost in all the bells and whistles. Keeping these 5 key points in mind when shopping for your next car will ensure you leave the lot in a reasonably priced, safe vehicle you can rely on.