All of us at some time or the other have bought a new vehicle or are contemplating to buy one. How do we identify our dream vehicle from the multitude of choices available in the market? Does the vehicle we intend to buy solve all our needs? Is it a little too big or a little too small for us? This and many more questions need to be answered before we rush out to sign on the dotted line. Remember, that when we buy a vehicle, any vehicle, only a complete round of homework from our end can help us make the right choice. A car is an expensive investment for most of us and hence this little guide should go a long way in making your decision that much easier.
- Identify your need: This is one of the most important factors in buying a car. Check to see whether you just need a city runabout or a car for the family. Whether you simply want it to commute to work, or whether you want to use it for personal business.
- Identify your budget: This is another important factor. Check to see what you have budgeted. Car buying is a major decision, so involve all your family members into it. Decide whether you want to spend two lakh rupees or two crores.
- Do your homework: Collect brochures and other printed matter on the car of your choice. Check to see the biggest network of service stations across the country. Check ready availability of spares at reasonable prices. Don’t get taken in by the sweet talk of salesmen or get pressurised. Always promise “to get back later”. Go through Autoportal.com to carefully compare and look at your chosen vehicle and variant.
- Test Drive: Insist on a test drive. Events like the test drive comparisons go a long way in helping people make up their minds by inviting people to test drive different makes of cars under similar situations. Let your family feel the vehicle and discuss the particular vehicle’s advantages and disadvantages. Look for your choice of colours.
- Finance: This is a very complex subject, but check for the lowest interest rates on offer by any bank. Most dealers have some tie-up or the other with finance companies, but it doesn’t harm anyone to shop around a bit before signing on the dotted line. Make sure you are getting the best deal. Check for delivery times and best offers. For handy tips on car finance, read our guide here!
- Commitment: Check for the commitment of the automobile company towards its products. If possible, talk to other owners of the same brand you are trying to zero in, to learn of their experience. Be careful of showroom suggested customers as they can tend to get highly biased.
- Specifications: Check and compare specifications across the model range of all manufacturers. It is worth paying Rs 30,000 extra for airbags and anti-lock braking systems (ABS) than settling for an ordinary car without it.
Finally: Collect your car, put in the accessories of your choice and enjoy. But always remember to buckle up and drive safely; because you are not only responsible for your safety but for the safety of other road users as well!