There is quite a lot to consider when buying a new car and so much essential information that consumers need before making a choice.
Honey Adams is the education officer for the office of Consumer Affairs, within the Ministry of Culture and Social Rehabilitation’s Department of Human Affairs.
Remember, this is large purchase and your new car decision should be a calculated one.
Here are a few common mistakes that car buyers make.
Mistake No. 1:
Falling in love
It is very common for consumers to buy a car because they ‘just love it’.
Whether it is considered a status symbol with new high-tech features or a style and colour that they just can’t resist, people will develop a crush on a car and decide that they just have to have it.
This is buying based on emotion — following your heart and not your head.
Before you go to the car showroom, be keenly aware of your weaknesses and have a plan on how to talk to the salesperson without using phrases like ‘I just love this car’ or ‘it is so me’ and definitely not ‘I just have to have it’.
Car salesmen are trained to sell you a car based on your emotions and they can spot your weaknesses a mile away. Getting excited is not uncommon but allow yourself time to do proper research and resist giving in to your emotions.
Mistake No. 2:
This is a common mistake, especially with consumers who buy on impulse.
Begin your car search long before you need one so that you don’t end up buying the wrong car because of time constraints.
Review performance and maintenance ratings on the vehicle: there are websites that provide reviews on automobiles, I suggest the following: www.consumerreports.org, www.caranddriver.com, www.motortrend.com.
Put together a spreadsheet of the different cars that you are interested in. Compare the important facts on each car — safety rating, engine size, mileage, inside capacity, parts availability, general maintenance requirements, where manufactured, service history, and so on.
Mistake No. 3:
Consider the ongoing costs
Don’t make the mistake of basing your decision on what you can afford to pay at the time of purchase and not budgeting for the length of time you will most likely own the car.
There are ongoing expenses that you must consider, such as general maintenance, yearly licensing and insurance fees.
If you are taking out a loan for your car your monthly payments may seem appealing at the time, but will you be able to manage this expense if your income changes?
Additionally, depending on the length of the loan will the interest and fees result in you overpaying for the car?
Buying the Deal
I read somewhere recently that the deal is only as good as the car attached to it — this is so true.
If you can’t get parts for it or get quality affordable repairs, is it really a deal?
Again, research the vehicle on the Internet, with local insurance companies, repair shops and people who own the same make and model.
Find out the performance and maintenance ratings on the car. In the long run you are better off paying a little more for reliability and quality after sales service.
For more in depth information on buying a car, whether new or used, visit our website: www.ca.gov.bm.