So, you think it’s time for you to have your very own car. But are you sure you’re ready for your first ever vehicle? Take a quick look and review the points below, which will prove useful both for prospective car buyers who already have some idea about buying cars, and those who don’t know the first thing about the what’s, why’s, and how’s of automobile purchases.

 

1. Determine where and how you’ll be using your car the most

Some cars were made for the rough terrain, while others are best only for city driving. Knowing in advance how and where you’ll be using your car can help you choose the right model that brings the best bang for your buck, and can even help you save on fuel costs in the long run.

 

2. Brand new car or second-hand: which is better?

There’s nothing like driving a shiny, brand-new car down the street (not to mention the irresistible new-car smell, of course!), but if you’re not up to ponying up the cash for a brand-new car, a second-hand option may be a more feasible choice.

But do note that when you choose to buy a second-hand car, you’re not just getting the car itself–you’re also inheriting the years of problems and issues that have come with the usual use and wear-and-tear of the unit.

It will therefore be helpful to learn about the state of the car’s warranty: if it’s still covered by the original warranty from the dealer, then you’re getting bumper-to-bumper maintenance for possible issues that may arise.

But if the car is out of manufacturer warranty and is subsisting on an extended service warranty, issues and parts replacement that the warranty provider can resolve may be a bit limited. This means you’ll sometimes end up shouldering the costs of repairs and maintenance, which could possibly balloon to the tens of thousands of pesos in the long run.

 

3. Check to see which perks come with your car purchase

Car dealers and banks offering car loans often include the customary car registrations and insurance with your purchase. Others offer rebates on your loan, while some give out ridiculously low down payment options on certain models and brands.

They may not necessarily sway you from one option to another, but knowing which perks are available can help you calculate the overall value of your car purchase.

 

4. Your expenses don’t stop at monthly amortizations

Yep, if you think your monthly loan payments are all you need to shell out for when buying a car, think again.

Annual and registration and insurance expenses alone could set you back several thousands of pesos, and the total cost goes up depending on the total size and cost of the car you’ve chosen. Add to that the monthly fuel costs, as well as the periodic maintenance expenses that come with ensuring your car’s in tip-top shape always.

It’s important to factor these costs in at the onset when you make a decision about which model or car loan option you’ll eventually choose.

 

5. Compare your car loan options to get the best terms and rates

When it all comes down to it, choosing the best car loan rates and terms is just as important as choosing which car to buy in the first place. So make sure your options are all laid out in front of you so you can compare–check out the interest rates from various banks, and see if they can lend you funds at terms that are comfortable and within your budget.

It’s important to know what you’re getting into when buying a car, and we’re not just talking about aesthetics or the adrenaline rush you’ll feel once you’re behind the wheel. Be informed so that you can get as much savings as you can and be able to keep some funds for other expenses.

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