Buying an automobile is not always a rational or considered decision; emotions and the ego come in the way of rational decisions. Of course, sometimes you are pretty clear on the automobile that you want and that’s that. However, an automobile is one of the more expensive things you will buy and it is worth considering the following points before shelling out the moolah:
* It is a long-term possession.
Most people would use an automobile for a longish period of time – say, upwards of 5 years. Don’t get sucked in into buying a very expensive car or a very inexpensive car. You are going to have the car for a long time and not buying sensibly will rankle.
* Avoid buying the wrong vehicle.
Take into consideration your overall driving schedule before purchasing a vehicle. Buying an SUV is not smart if you need to drive only short distances throughout the week. And a sports car looks cool and fancy but in case you have a big family, it’s not a wise choice. But then, as I said earlier, not everyone is totally rational!
* In the showroom, do not show an emotional preference for a particular vehicle.
Take out time and understand if a car meets your long-term needs and if you can really afford it. If you have budgeted yourself for a Rs. 400,000 automobile, do not fall head over heels for a car listed at Rs. 600,000. You may find it difficult to repay the loan for the extra Rs.200, 000 and may have to tighten your belt on other important expenses. And expensive cars have other higher related costs including fuel.
* Never choose a car dealership by location.
Not all dealers are the same; in fact, many sell different makes and models. Ask around. Get input from friends and family members on where they purchased their automobiles and how they felt about the service given to them.
* Never discuss trade-in of your car early in the negotiations.
Dealers love to play the trade-in game with potential customers. Negotiate your price for the new car prior to bringing your automobile into the conversation. Get your own car evaluated before approaching the dealership. Clean your car before going to the dealership. Do not let anyone assume you put little value on your car.
* Always make clear and justified financial decisions.
Think out the long-term implications of spending on the new car including mileage, insurance, extra fees and interest payments.