Festive sales during Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, and Diwali contribute to 30 percent of annual sales. But when you buy a car during this season, ensure that you’re in the driver’s seat. While you can make the most of this auspicious time, not to mention the discounts and freebies, stay alert and informed.
A car purchase is an important one when it comes to your finances, and being updated about factors that can make it heavier on pocket, like the recent change in long-term third party insurance by the insurance regulator, IRDA, is simply good sense. Steer yourself in the right direction by following this simple yet efficient guide to buying a car.
Check your wallet
The first step to narrowing down your options is to filter them using your budget. Decide how much you are willing to spend by considering your upcoming or existing financial responsibilities.
While you’re at it, determine the use of the car. Are you going to be its sole driver? Will the car be driven by your family members? Do you intend to drive out of town often? Base your choice of a car on its use, and not on advertisements or your neighbour.
Look for your travelling needs in future
Rather than looking in the rear view mirror, consider the road ahead. It is wise to first determine what roads you will be frequenting. Will your vehicle be only used for minimal travelling? Are you intending to venture off-road with family and friends?
Your use of the car will also help you choose between an automatic and manual vehicle and the type of car. While considering the kind of car you need based on where you will drive it, determine how long you intend to use the car for. Will you be purchasing another car in the next five years? Do you intend to use your car for another 10 years? This will help you shortlist the variant better.
Decide between a brand new or used car
With a new car, you can benefit from brand new, factory-installed components but also shell out a lot more. To get financing for a new car, you just need a good credit score and you’ll be able to get a loan easily. But with a used car, you may not get enough financing, may pay higher interest, and may need to make a bigger down payment.
However, factor in the depreciation on a new car and compare it with the fitness of its used counterpart, a used car may cost more if it spends more time in repair, so if you’re going in this direction, gear up for regular maintenance or make sure you buy certified pre-owned car. Consider the pros and cons for each option rather than imagining what you’ll look good driving in.
Choose the fuel option based on efficiency and your needs
While petrol prices continue to surge, at around Rs 78 a litre in Delhi presently, you may wonder if a car that runs on diesel will be more cost-effective.
While this may seem like an easy choice, a diesel car can be more expensive. Cars that run on petrol offer a smoother driving experience and are more environment-friendly. Older diesel engines, on the other hand, are slower and may produce more noise while the latest ones seem to have overcome these negatives.
Between these two options, paying the purchase and maintenance expenses for a diesel car is worth the spend only if you intend to use your vehicle for more than 1,000 – 1,200 km in a month. So, go ahead and forecast the odometer readings before you make the final decision.
Examine whether advanced safety features are in your best interest
Indian cars may are to now get mandatory pedestrian safety features, starting as early as this month, with an Anti-Lock Braking and a new bonnet design to reduce impact during accidents.The future may bring Autonomous Emergency Braking to every car and by 2022, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.
These are intended to help us prevent frequent accidents while driving on the increasingly crowded roads throughout the country.
However, greater safety features mean higher costs. In a way, the features pay for themselves by providing higher protection in accidents. Therefore, the greater safety you seek, the more you’ll need to be ready to pay.
Look beyond the dealership’s financing option
While your preferred car dealer may emphasise on their tie-up with a lending institution, avail car financing by researching your own options too.
While going with your dealer can save you the running around to apply for a car loan, it may also be more expensive. Don’t be taken for a ride and end up paying extra interest. Look through various car loan offers online and make a financially sound choice.
Use the above pointers to narrow down on a deal while staying pennywise!The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com.