Car ownership was once a status symbol because of its steep price. But this has changed dramatically over the years, with plenty of car brands competing for sales. Depending on the brand you prefer, you can get a car at a relatively low price these days.
Moreover, owning a car has become more of a necessity than a luxury. The convenience it provides is the common reason people are purchasing either new or used cars. With your own car, you’ll be the one deciding how early or late you’ll go for an appointment, and avoid stressful wait times typical to commuting.
However, getting a car entails a lot of important considerations.
For instance, pre purchase car inspection and test drive are crucial to ensure that the car you are buying is functioning properly. To help you get the right vehicle, here are eight essential considerations you need to note before purchasing a car.
1. Determine Your Needs
Determining your needs will significantly help you in deciding what type of car to buy. This way, the vehicle will serve its purpose.
Make a list of your needs, including storage and seating capacity, performance or mechanical specifications, safety features, convenience, warranty, and special considerations like towing capacity, mileage, and height restrictions. It would also help to list your wants, such as heated or sunroof seats and an advanced sound system.
2. Know Your Budget
Cars are not cheap, so you must have a clear plan on how you will finance your purchase. Though taking a loan is possible, also consider how you will repay it.
Setting a budget will help you in deciding on the vehicle you want. The allocated money should likewise include other fees that come with car ownership, such as the cost of registration, servicing, fuel, and customization.
Be vigilant about low prices posted online or in printed ads.
The advertisement can make the vehicle seem affordable, but the fine print might require a down payment, weekly or monthly payment, and other fees. Moreover, the featured car may be a specific model that features things you don’t need and want, such as a high-performance engine that calls for premium fuel apart from expensive car insurance.
3. Compare Prices
As you check one brand and model against another, look into your list of needs and wants to check the value based on your own criteria.
For instance, there may be packages that offer added value by integrating a feature you want at no extra charge. An in-depth price comparison will include all car specifications and dimensions, warranty information, features, price, and reviews.
4. Check The Dealership
The dealership location, reputation, and years of operation are crucial when deciding where to get your car.
Major cities may offer specific brands in large quantities, while small towns offer a few cars to select from. If your preferred dealership doesn’t offer the car you need, don’t remove them from your list of choices because they can refer you to a reputable specialist in the UAE that offers the car make or model you are looking for.
Qualities to look for in car dealership include:
- Convenient location
- Excellent reputation in both sales and service
- User-friendly website
- Reasonable price for repair and maintenance services
- Excellent customer service
5. Ask For A Test Drive
You will know it is the right vehicle after you have driven it, so make sure to ask for a test drive.
Take the vehicle for a spin along city streets and highways so you can check the overall handling, braking, acceleration, wind noise, and blind spots.
As you maneuver, check for the most comfortable seat position and visibility. You should be comfortable enough to reach the pedals, read the information on the digital screen, and see into blind spots. If not, choose another vehicle.
6. Schedule For Pre-Purchase Inspection
A pre-purchase car inspection entails more than just kicking the tires. A reputable inspector will examine the vehicle thoroughly, which can last for up to 90 minutes. If the seller won’t permit you to take the car for an inspection, that is a red flag, so you must move on to the next dealership on your list.
The inspection process includes:
- Monitor Checks – dash warning light and computer system monitors
- Mechanical Checks – suspension components, hoses and belts, steering linkage, and inspection for fluid leaks
- System Checks – electrical, exhaust, battery and charging, interior and exterior lights, ignition, radiation and cooling, and HVAC
- Maintenance Checks – fluid condition and levels, tires and brakes, and glass and windshield washers/wipers
A car inspection does not just involve looking into the car model, color, make, and the number of doors. Any hidden thing can make your car investment a disaster. Besides, everything under the hood and the car body are more critical than what you see on the outside.
Although an inspection won’t guarantee that you’ll find all flaws, an expert inspector will help prevent serious problems later. It would be better to find an inspection company that offers a warranty on what they inspect.
7. Get Insurance Quotes
Once you have found the right car that fits your budget, it is time to determine how much insurance it will cost you.
Insurance providers will look into several factors when setting insurance premiums. These include special features like a portable PA system, the driving locale, and the car make and model.
Seek multiple quotes from different providers and compare them to determine which company offers the best coverage at a reasonable price.
The key to negotiating the best price for the car you want is communication.
Car dealers are in business not just to sell cars and make money, but also to establish long-term relationships with their clients. Trust is very important, just like being honest and open about your needs, wants, and budget. By informing the dealer about these things, you’ll be provided with the right type of vehicle.
To effectively negotiate a car price, you must research the car you want to purchase, set rules, and hold your ground no matter what.
Buying a car is a huge investment and a complicated process, so being aware of these eight important considerations will significantly help you take home the right vehicle.
And since not everyone is a car expert, it is crucial to ask an experienced auto technician to check the vehicle you want thoroughly. This will give you a sense of knowing that you have invested your money in a car that will satisfy your needs and suit your budget.
Ahmad Ramadan is a Managing Partner at Deutsche Technik Service Center, Dubai’s first and largest VW, Audi, Mercedes, Bentley, Porsche, & Lamborghini vehicle specialist and performance tuner. DT has also built an illustrious portfolio in classic car repair, maintenance, and restoration, as well as bodywork (accident repair, painting, and denting). DT Service Centre offers a full range of services: mechanical repairs, maintenance, servicing, etc.