Buying a new car is one of the most tedious and harrowing experiences especially for first-time buyers. However, even experienced car buyers may face difficulties while buying another car and the reason is money. After home, a car is a second biggest investment and that too with depreciating factor. Also, after home and office, the car is the place where people spend most of their time and hence wants it to be more personal and according to one’s taste. So while being a first-time car buyer isn't easy, we've compiled a list of top things to keep in mind while buying a brand new car to make the experience smooth and easy:
Determine the Budget
Deciding the budget is the most important and preliminary step for buying a new car. You can either do a onetime payment or opt for an EMI method while purchasing a car. In the latter’s case, your budget is generally based on what you can afford per month. Just to keep in mind, the monthly expenditures while buying a car are not limited to the vehicular cost only. There are other charges like fuel cost, maintenance and insurance apart from road tax. Case in point, a car like Maruti Suzuki S-Presso that has a sticker value of Rs 3.69 Lakh (ex-showroom, starting), will cost you around Rs 4.2 Lakh (on-road). So it’s crucial to determine the budget and don’t go for a car that will put a dent on your monthly expenditure.
Determine the Body Type
Once you have decided the budget, you have to determine the body type. A body type defines a vehicle’s look, design and space inside the cabin. There are essentially four body types – hatchback, sedan, SUV and MPV. These body types are further divided into subcategories. You have to be cautious in your buying decision and plan forward. One may think of buying a 7-seater MPV as they go for a family vacation once in 6 months. But for the rest of the day, an additional two seats are wastage of resource and space. In that case, you can rent an MPV. Don’t buy what you don't need.
Understand Your Daily Running
A lot of people are confused about buying petrol or a diesel car. In Delhi-NCR, CNG is growing as a credible alternative for the two power sources, along with the rising supply of electric vehicles. To tackle them all, one has to understand their daily running. While diesel is less expensive than petrol and has better mileage, a diesel-engined car is at least Rs 1 Lakh expensive than the petrol-engined car. Our calculations have concluded that in 90% of the cases, buying a diesel car over a petrol car is not required. And it all boils down to your basic daily running. So calculate wisely.
Although a car is the second biggest investment in a person’s life, its value depreciates with every passing year. So much is the depreciation in cars that you can buy a 2010 model Mercedes-Benz E-Class worth Rs 55 Lakh at that time for as less as Rs 10 Lakh. And so it’s important to understand the concept of resale value. Nobody would like to lose a hefty amount on cars for nothing but just changing years. To offset this effect, buy a car with high resale value. Certain brands and cars like the Maruti Suzuki Swift command a high resale value no matter when you sell them.
Understand the Vehicle
Now that you are aware of your requirements, brand, price and body type, it’s easy to pick 1-2 vehicles from the vast basket of products on offer. But before you go any further, the last step is to understand the vehicle. While online platforms are good for basic research, the importance of the test drive can’t be neglected. Nothing is more important in your decision process than how you feel behind the wheel. We often tend to marginalize the importance of so many variables, be it seat height, steering feel, pedal position, visibility, etc., you must spend a reasonable amount of time driving the car. Take at least half an hour of test drive inside the city, on the highway and we bet your opinion for the car will change as opposed to your initial research.