In the market for a set of wheels? Never bought a car before? Been told that car ownership involves many hidden expenses, but not sure what that means exactly? Don’t stress, these tips from Ford Motor Company will help you navigate the decision-making and buying process like a boss, without making costly mistakes.
Do your homework
Once you’ve decided on the best type and size of car for your needs – hatch, sedan, SUV, pick-up, manual, automatic, diesel, petrol – you need to do some thorough research. Automakers’ local websites, print or online motoring reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations are a good place to start. Just don’t forget to take into consideration the fuel consumption of the cars you’re looking at, as fuel costs could have quite a big impact on your pocket.
Bells and whistles
When it comes to specs and accessories, we know it’s tempting to only look at the fun stuff, such as entertainment features and cool wheel options, but it’s best to start with safety.
Safety may not be something you want to brag about to your friends but it should always be a major consideration in any car buying decision. Ford’s stylish Figo boasts impressive safety features, including driver and passenger airbags, as well as ABS brakes. It also includes electric front windows with one-touch operation on the driver’s side, a factory-fitted immobiliser, electric power-assisted steering, tilt adjustment for the steering column, headlight level adjustment, a built-in Ford Audio unit with an integrated display, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB slot, as well as Ford’s unique Device Dock for connecting and powering smart phone devices, as well as remote central locking in Trend and Titanium guise.
Take it for a spin
A test drive at a dealership is the only way to get a solid impression of a car’s driving dynamics and comfort levels. Don’t forget to take along your driver’s license. When you get in the car make sure the seats are comfortable, the controls are easy to reach, and all the instruments are clearly visible. Take note of all these details so you can do a proper comparison between the cars on your shortlist afterwards.
You can apply for finance directly with your bank, but working through a dealership is often quicker and easier, and you may also get a better deal. You’ll need to take along your ID or passport, or a certified copy thereof, proof of residential address, like a utility bill, and a three-month bank statement, showing proof of income. Once the dealership has done an affordability assessment with you, and advised you on the best options in terms of repayments, finance term lengths, interest rates, and deposits, they will submit a request for finance on your behalf, and then come back to you with an offer.
Cover your bases
Insurance on any financed vehicle is required by law. Only once you have provided proof of insurance can the dealership allow you to take delivery of your new car. The dealership may suggest an insurance provider, but you can work through your own insurance company to get the best rate. Vehicle insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product, so you have to find a policy which best suits your needs.
T&Cs with a fine-tooth comb
“It is imperative you run through all the terms and conditions with your dealership, to avoid any surprises later on,” says Burger Genis, sales manager at Lazarus Ford. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions, to make sure you fully understand the fine print before signing on the dotted line. And always remember, your car still belongs to the bank until you pay the final monthly instalment, or balloon payment, and a letter of settlement has been issued.”