Is now time for an upgrade?
Questions you need to ask before locking in a new car
DECIDING to upgrade to a new car is exciting.
However it also opens the door to a whole host of decisions, ranging from which makes and models you prefer to setting your new car budget.
To help you wade through these decisions, we’ve rounded up a list of the top things to consider before you lay down your hardearned cash on a new car. Know what you want While price is important, it’s far from the only factor you should consider when deciding which car is right for you. Fuel economy No one likes being stung at the petrol pump – especially with fuel prices at their current levels.
The Government’s Green Vehicle guide (greenvehicle guide.gov.au) has a great calculator that allows you to compare up to three vehicles at a time based on estimated annual fuel costs, average fuel consumption, and even the level of air pollution it emits. Safety Your car is going to be carrying precious cargo – so wouldn’t you want to know how it stacks up against other cars in its class?
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) provides consumers with information about the level of protection and collision-avoidance capabilities provided by different vehicle models in the most common types of serious crashes. Lifestyle Do you “really” need a four-wheel-drive if you’re never likely to take it off-road?
Similarly, a small hatchback might suit you when your children are young, but what happens when they (or your family size) grow?
Considering this car is going to be with you for between the next five to 10 years, it’s worth thinking about how your life may change during that time. Start Shopping for the Best Deal Once you’re set on which car you want, it’s time to get out there and talk to some dealers.
Here are our tips for getting a great deal:
■ Find out the full cost. Remember, the cost of buying a car is more than just the price tag.
The “drive-away” costs like registration, stamp duty and CTP can add anywhere from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand dollars to the total purchase price.
■ Prepare to bargain. While there’s no guarantee you’ll be successful, being prepared to negotiate with dealers can help you shave some dollars off the cost of your car.
Here are our best haggling tips:
■ Keep your expectations realistic.
You probably won’t haggle much off an already discounted price.
■ Be friendly and polite. Good manners go a long way and sometimes a deal simply comes down to how much they like you.
■ Do leave your phone number, even if you walk away.
They might come back to you with a better offer. Lock in your finance Shopping around for finance is just as important as shopping for the car itself.
While a competitive interest rate is essential, you should also make sure you are aware of any fees or conditions that apply.
Things you should know before you sign a contract include:
■ Are there any early payout fees?
■ What are the set-up/ongoing costs? ■ What is the comparison interest rate?
Remember: the comparison rate is a method of standardising the true cost of a loan.
It can help you see what the actual costs are once you include all the fees and is an easy way to compare credit providers on an even playing field.
Beware of dealer finance We’ve all seen signs advertising “zero per cent interest” finance deals, but often the old saying “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” rings true.
With this type of finance the interest is often accounted for in the price of the vehicle, so the dealer isn’t likely to be flexible on the price, or very generous with trade-in offers.
There can also be balloon payments due at the end of the contract – so unless you are happy to find the cash to pay out the final lump sum,
you’re probably better off sticking to more traditional finance options. Ready to start? Check out the car loan repayment calculator at
www.mymove.com.au to work out what your repayments might look like.
You’ll also be able to see how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
DRIVING AWAY: Your list of top things to consider before upgrading.