To buy or not to buy, that is the question

14 January 2013:

Buying a new car can be one of the most exciting and also stressful moments in life. While there are definite pro's to buying a brand new car straight off the showroom floor, there are also some hurdles that can leave the buyer feeling like they have bitten off more than they can chew. In order to limit the stress and make this process as enjoyable as possible the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) has put together a list of top tips.

  1. Be patient.

    Other than buying a house, a new car can be one of the most expensive purchases you'll ever make. Do not be in a rush. It is essential to plan properly, pick the vehicle for your price range and be patient in searching for the best deal in town.

  2. Research. Research. Research.

    Buying a new car is a big step, especially for your pocket. Make sure you do your homework on how much you can afford to spend and then pick a make of car that fits within your requirements. The more information you are armed with before negotiating with dealerships the easier the negotiations will go.

    Tip from the AA: Consider a demo model - it will be cheaper than a new version.

  3. Be realistic.

    We all have dreams of driving around in a sports car with the top down, but this is not always realistic. Keep your requirements in mind when looking for your car - a two-seater may make you feel like you are back in your twenties but where will the kids sit? These days you do not need to compromise on style to have functionality.

  4. Selecting the right dealership

    Once you have done your research and you have decided on the make and model of the car you want, it is important to select the right dealership. Ensure the dealer is a member of the AA Quality Assured network of repairers, as they follow rules and regulations designed to protect the consumer and ensure high-quality service.

  5. Remember who the customer is.

    It is good to remember that most dealerships work on commission and the sales person will have a prepared sales pitch, so it's important for you to know the details in order to negotiate a better deal. Remember they want to make the sale so you are in the power seat.

  6. Contracts.

    One of the main pro's to buying a new car off the showroom floor is the assistance you get from the dealer in terms of financingand arranging the contract. However, it's important to remember that you do not have to go through the bank of their choice. You can ask for different quotes from other leading banks and you are in a position to take the best deal for you, not the dealership.

    Tip from the AA: Get pre-approval from your own bank – this can save time and possibly even get you a better interest rate.

Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1180

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