Your Guide to Buying a Car
What car should I buy? If that’s a question that’s popped into your mind when looking for a new vehicle online, we’ve put together a handy guide to help make your decision easier.
Follow these tips to potentially save you thousands and ensure your next car purchase matches your business and personal needs, and your budget.
One of the biggest challenges about buying a car is setting a budget (and getting what you want for it).
Sorting out your finance before you shop around can give you some negotiating power and help you be realistic about your purchase.
Some financing options to consider include:
- EasiBuy: EasiBuy is exclusive to Easifleet and is a process where we negotiate finance payments on your behalf to make purchasing easier.
- Salary Packaging: By salary packaging your new car purchase through a novated lease, you can save money. Business owners and employees should consider this as a viable financing option, especially with the significant tax savings that come with it.
- Loan: Typically, car and bank loans are better for first-time buyers. Read our blog post on novated leasing vs. buying a car outright or with a loan.
- Mortgage Redraw: Good for people who ‘save’ into their mortgages, but be wary of turning a short-term car debt into a long-term mortgage debt.
Old vs. New
After sorting finance choose between a used versus a new car. If you choose to go through financing options such as EasiBuy or a novated lease, check with your leasing company about the oldest model you can purchase under the finance terms.
Through detailed research into buyer’s guides, manufacturer’s websites and online reviews, you’ll gain a better understanding of which car may be best for your needs.
Once you have a few options, weigh up your budget. Price is most often a determining factor between choosing used over new vehicles. While new vehicles may be more expensive, they can save you money over time with fewer maintenance and repairs needed. Novated leasing a new car or a slightly older model means regular servicing and maintenance is pre-packaged.
As pre-loved older cars aren’t always reliable, it’s best to purchase from a reputable car yard or novated lease dealership to ensure you’re not buying a lemon.
Consider how you’ll be funding the car, long-term ownership costs and eventual re-sale value, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of buying new vs old.
Long vs. Short Distance
How you drive your car can help dictate which vehicle is a better fit for you. Long commutes to work, for example, may demand higher-quality comfort features.
Although most modern cars will accommodate a range of uses, such as city or country driving, or long or short distance, some models are more suited to specific purposes.
Fuel efficiency will also play an important factor in the car’s running costs for both long and short drives. How you plan to use your car will determine whether a small city car, fuel efficient vehicle or larger vehicle is right for you.
Now factor in whether the vehicle will be solely used for business purposes or whether it should also provide enough room to double as the family ‘taxi’.
It’s not just about how many people the vehicle can carry, but boot space and interior manoeuvrability as well. Consider the space needed for getting your child in and out with ease and how you’ll fit the pram, essential baby items and groceries. You may also need to consider additional child seats for toddlers.
Practicality and safety should be top concerns when choosing a family car. Check for safety features such as auto emergency breaking, blind spot monitoring, reverse parking cameras and suitable child seat fixtures. If you’re looking for a family vehicle, invest in a car for the long term. Don’t forget, you may also be able to novate additional cars through your work or business.. This is handy if your spouse or teenager needs a vehicle.
If you’re one of the thousands of Aussies who head off-road every chance you get, leisure activities should also factor into your vehicle buying decision.
Will your car be used for towing a caravan, boat or trailer and if so, what is the weight of that trailer?
However, if you’re going to be mainly driving a suburban route between work, friends, family or dinner outings, you probably won’t need an off-roader or SUV.
Need a little of both? Here are some business models that offer features for the best of both worlds
Will You be Transporting Pets?
If your car needs to cater for your four-legged friends, then staying away from luxury leather interiors is probably a wise move.
Consider how well your pooch is trained and where they will be seated for car trips. Like children, pets may need a vehicle with more interior space.
Trim and Equipment
Don’t forget to add any special trim, comfort features and safety devices you many want. The trim and equipment you choose will impact initial purchase price, eventual resale and possibly length of ownership.
If you want a car that’s going to last the distance, investing in high-quality trim and equipment is paramount.
Make a list of your essential features, such as air conditioning or blue-tooth connectivity, to help narrow the search.
Features worth considering include:
- Extended warranties: Be sure to read the fine print first as this usually won’t include a manufacturer warranty. Check all terms and conditions as to whether it’s relevant to you. The longer the warranty the better – but to keep warranties valid, ensure you commit to your side of the bargain too.
- Safety features: Aside from the ANCAP star rating system, which classifies tested vehicles on how safe they are, weigh up which safety features are important. Driver assistance technologies are used for helping drivers stay alert through fatigue management, vehicle ergonomics and alerts. Other safety features to consider are ABS anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control and additional airbags.
- Additional features: What other go-to features do you need for lifestyle, family or business requirements? Things such as a sunroof, surround sound speakers, adjustable vehicle performance and roof racks may be beneficial to you.
Best Time to Buy
Buying a new car doesn’t have to break the bank – but it does take a bit of research to know when the best time to buy a car is and score the best deal. Here are a few indications of when you could get the best price for a new purchase:
- End of month
- End of financial year
- Last quarter and year-end holidays
- During car run-out sales
Depending on where and how you purchase your car, there may be extra support available. New cars will include after sales support in case there’s any problems.
Check the car brand’s reputation for reliability, warranty and level of after sales support. Most will have specific information about this on their websites.
Roadside assistance is a worthwhile feature to consider for extra support. This gives drivers peace of mind knowing they will have help in the event of breakdowns, flat tyres, running out of fuel or lost keys.
If you’re looking for an option that provides extra support, including roadside assistance, regular servicing and maintenance, consider the benefits of novated leasing.
For more car buying tips, contact us today.