Have you carefully weighed all the pros and cons of buying a family car? Before you put your foot on the accelerator, read this article that sheds light on some of the important topics that you need to consider before finalizing your purchase.
1. The purpose of your family car
It is always a good idea to ask yourself “why” before deciding “which family car” to buy. In this regard, try to identify the must-haves first before you weigh your “nice-to-have” options. This will make your decision-making process much easier.
For example, if you are buying a car to ferry at least three family members, instead of going for the sexy convertible, consider getting a less sexy but spacious station wagon. If you travel long distances and face a lot of traffic jams, make sure your future car has a well-insulated cabin and a good sound system. These will keep your family safe and well-entertained if you ever get stuck in gridlock.
If you are faced with parking issues at your work or at home, try to get a car that comes with proximity sensors on the sides and front and rear. This is because even the best drivers find it hard to park in narrow lanes. In brief, try to buy a car that is well-suited to your needs in the medium-to-long term.
2. Budgeting and car insurance are very important considerations
There are plenty of options when it comes to purchasing your next family car. You can buy a sedan car, an SUV, or a big truck: the choice is yours.
You will have a hard time deciding which way to go if you don’t put a tab on your budget. So, before going out there, it is better to set the amount of money you want to spend on purchasing your next car. Then, add another 20% buffer to account for all other car-related expenses. You should also keep in mind the running cost associated with using a car. In order to pay for monthly fuel bills, service bills, taxes, insurance cost and traffic violation tickets, you should set aside a considerable budget.
You will be in a better position to decide whether to go with a brand new car or buy a second-hand car by keeping all these related expenses in mind. For the time being, both of these options have their own pros and cons.
A brand new car or a used one?
If you decide to buy a brand new car, you will be able to save a lot in your maintenance cost. However, you may have to make a huge initial investment. On the other hand, buying a second-hand car may not put a lot of load on your budget initially, but it can drain your bank account in maintenance costs down the line.
Whether you decide on buying a brand new family car or a used one, car insurance is a mandatory requirement with every purchase. Keep in mind; car insurance rates for brand new cars are always high, so think twice before making your final decision.
Are you set on buying a second-hand car? There are some invaluable tips on the next page!
3. Tips for buying a second-hand car
If you have made up your mind about buying a pre-loved car, you need to keep the following important points in mind before browsing the market.
Decide on a car brand
Shortlist some car brands that you are interested in buying. Then, visit various online owner forums to find about some of the common complaints the car owners have experienced.
It’s okay to change your mind if you find out that there are plenty of complaints about the make and model that you are interested in. Once you are able to find satisfactory reviews of a particular car, you can move to the next stage.
Visit used-car dealers
It is time to visit different car dealers that sell those second-hand cars. Once you are able to find the make and model of the second-hand car you are interested in buying, perform a thorough body inspection.
Inspect the car thoroughly
Look for the paint condition, bumps, and scratches, tire condition, out engine condition and other physical characters. Make sure to ask the dealer and also inspect whether the car has been in a major accident. Avoid buying such car, as its structural integrity may have already been compromised and it may give your problems in the coming months or years.
Once you are done examining the car externally, it is about time to sit on the driver’s seat and have a test drive. Before you turn the ignition key, make sure to check the electronics, breaks, lights, and air conditioning are in working condition. When you start the engine, make sure to pay special attention to the way the engine is starting. Does it seem to struggle or starts with just one shot?
Check the breaks, suspension, and ride of the car during your test drive. Discuss with the car dealer if you feel spot any major issues with the car. A good car dealer will address those issues before handing you the car keys.
4. Take a close friend with you for a test drive
If you have a trusted friend who knows about used cars better than you, it is advised to take him/her with you for a test drive. An experienced driver will be able to identify potential problems that you may fail to notice. You don’t want to ferry your family in an unreliable car!
Before going on the test drive, make sure to check the condition of the tyres. Check whether the treads on the tyres are deep and that the tires are not worn out. Never go on a test drive if the tires are not in good condition.
You should also pay special attention to the breaks and how the car is behaving when you accelerate it and lose the speed. If you feel any jerks or abrupt stops, you need to double check the transmission or brake system before going for the test drive. In case you are test driving a manual car, make sure to check the gear-clutch system. It should work smoothly as your shift through different gears.
While you are on the road test driving the car, make sure to listen for abnormal sounds in the cabin or emanating from the bonnet area or tyres. If possible always take the car to test drive on a quiet road.
Buying your first family car is a landmark moment in your life, so make sure you do not end up repenting your decision.