Even people with enough money in the bank go in for car loans. The reasons for this are simple. Financing your car keeps your capital free for other applications or investments. Getting a car loan allows you to plan your future expenditure and budget accordingly. When going in for car finance, make sure you get the best possible deal so as to optimize your cash outflow and the value you get for it.
First of all, decide what type of car you want. Do you need a compact for the city or something more suitable for the highways? Are you the outdoors type who will need a 4X4? Do you have, or are planning to have, a large family that will require large seating and trunk capacity? Keeping all these parameters in mind, check out all the models that suit your needs. Be sure of what you can afford – look at the total cost of ownership and not just the monthly car finance payments.
Study car magazines for road test and quality reports. Check out the internet for older reports and studies. Make sure the information you collect is reliable. There are a lot of folks who, through their own mistakes, are unhappy and are posting bitter blogs. Visit manufacturers’ websites and get all the information you can on the models you have short listed. Keep a special eye out for models that have had recall problems. This does not mean it is a bad car. Just make sure that the problem has been fixed and no longer occurs.
If you have friends and neighbors who have cars of the models in your short list, talk to them and get a first hand owners impression on the ownership experience, especially things like reliability, fuel consumption and the cost of spares.
Carefully check the warranty of the car. No warranty will cover everything. Look at a warranty based on your past experience and the problems you have encountered and the things you can foresee and possible problems in the future. Look for extended warranty options. Manufacturers’ warranties on new cars are fixed, but if you are looking at a used car, the warranty is given by the dealer and you can negotiate with him. Remember that the budgeting you have done on the cost of your car loan will not cover out of warranty repairs.