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Juliet McGuire

My top 5 tips for buying a car

This is probably something I have been asked about the most over my 11-year career. Buying a car. And if you think about, what would I know about buying a car? I am a motoring journalist after all. I don’t own a car and haven’t bought one since 2008. With that said, because people constantly ask me, not only have I done extensive research but I have gone through a million car-buying processes with family and friends over the years and can now say; “I am an expert!”

Here are my top five tips for buying a car.

  1. First and foremost, work out what your budget is. Do not come up with a ballpark figure, work out exactly what it is you can afford. And bear in mind that the repayments are not the only thing to consider. Work out what new tyres cost, what insurance will be, what a service costs, how much fuel will be. Cars cost more than their monthly payments.
  2. Determine what your needs are. Do you need a lot of boot space? Do you need a car that can go off-road? Do you need a car for around town or will it be used for long trips too? You cannot find your perfect car if you don’t know what it is you need it for (a part from the obvious of getting you from point A to point B).
  3. Research! Research! Research! You cannot do enough research. Don’t just look at brands you know, look at ones you might not have considered. Ask people’s advice and experience of cars they own. Shop around to get an idea of the correct pricing.
  4. Keep a record of every car you are considering and put together a comparison. You can use tools such as cars.co.za’s comparing tool which makes life much easier.
  5. Once you have narrowed your choice down to three, makes sure to test drive each one. You need to love driving this car, so there is no point in going with a great deal but you hate the drive.

There are many more things to consider, but this should get you on the right track. Remember, a car is not an investment! You are spending a LOT of money, so make sure you do your homework and make sure you are completely satisfied with your decision.

Happy car hunting!

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