Buying a car can be a daunting task at the best of times, especially if you are not sure where your circumstances will take you in the next 6-12 months. Here are some quick tips that you should always consider before taking the dive and making the big financial commitment of purchasing your own vehicle.
- What is my budget?
Probably one of the most important factors in purchasing a new vehicle is finding out what your budget is, and how much you can afford to spend on your car. When you’re calculating how much you can afford to fork out for that shiny new set of wheels, make sure you take into account the hidden costs of car ownership so you don’t have any unwanted surprises down the track. Keep in mind that you should also account for your CTP and third-party insurance when calculating your budget, as well as some extra on the side to cover your maintenance, servicing and registration. Often these ongoing costs get forgotten, but they’re an integral and necessary part of car ownership and will need to be taken into consideration when deciding on your budget.
- What is the value of my trade-in?
While this won’t be applicable for everyone, if you have an older car and you’re looking to trade it in for a new model, make sure you have a general estimate of what you can expect to get as a trade-in value. Don’t get swindled by a car dealer low-balling because you haven’t done your research – there’s plenty of free online resources for a quick valuation of your vehicle, so make sure you’ve done your due diligence before heading into a dealership.
- What support will I get after purchasing?
If you’re looking into new cars, it’s important to shop around and find out what sort of support you will get from your dealer over the lifetime of your car. Does your manufacturer include free servicing? Will you get a 3, 5 or 7 year warranty on your chosen model? Make sure to check the fine print of anything claiming to provide you with free servicing and maintenance – often these will either have a ‘cap’ on how much your service can cost, or what parts they will actually replace for free. This means you will still need to front the cost or excess of any major repairs. This is where Carly shines, as we won’t charge you for any insurance, servicing or repairs so you can drive our cars worry-free! It’s just a flat fee, with no surprises and no extra costs along the way.
- What is the history of my car?
If you’re looking into dealer-used and second-hand cars, it’s important to understand the history of the car you’re looking to buy and make sure there are no existing faults that could lead to big costs in the future. In order to mitigate this risk, you can purchase a car history report on your chosen vehicle from a variety of online sources such as the NRMA, for a small fee. This report will allow you to see if the vehicle was previously involved in any major incidents or has sustained any damage. It may also be a good idea to spring for an inspection to be carried out by a qualified mechanic in order to check for any major faults or issues that may not be visible on the surface. You can request that a full inspection is carried out before you purchase the car – your seller may try to insist that an inspection is not needed, but take this as an immediate red flag. If there were no problems with the car, your seller would be more than willing to let you organise a full inspection!
- Test Drive! Does it suit your needs?
It’s important to take your potential new car for a test drive before committing to buy so that you feel comfortable and confident in your decision to purchase. If you’re getting a new car for a specific purpose, make sure you’re entirely happy that this car will serve that purpose. Does it have enough room for the whole family? Does it have a spacious boot to do the groceries, or to take your dog to the beach?
As your life circumstances are ever-changing, your car should be able to change and adapt as well. That’s why we started Carly – a car subscription platform that covers your service, maintenance, registration, and insurance so that you can focus on your family and yourself. The best part is that you can change your car make and model every month. Want to take the family on a road trip in a few months? No worries, just choose a larger car for that month to fit your travel plans!
If you are still not sure if purchasing a car is right for you, car subscription may be the answer. Get started with Carly car subscription today, and experience the new, flexible way to have a car in your life. No lock-in contracts, cancel anytime with 30 days notice.