Things to remember before setting out to buy a car

Things to remember before setting out to buy a car
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Every now and then, a new vehicle is launched in the market. With a growing range of makes and models you will probably find that several cars fit your budget. If you plan to buy one of these, you could end up splitting your hair weighing the pros and cons. Confusion could reign supreme, from what vehicle to buy to should you opt for the full-option variant or not. Now, if you decide to seek someone's advice, everybody could have different opinions.

Here we give you a lowdown on what to keep in mind before buying a car.

The right car

You could have an idea of how much amount you are planning to spend on a car. Also, buy a vehicle that you actually require. For eg., if the approach road to your house is a narrow one and negotiating the vehicle will be a tough job, there is no point in buying a sedan. Similarly, if you live in a city, a hatchback makes sense. Instead of showing off, make sure that the vehicle you buy is easy to handle. If there are only two persons in the house, a sedan may be a luxury. But if there are several people in the family, you could think about buying a compact MUV or a SUV. The thumb rule is to decide on the car that best meets your needs.

Petrol or diesel?

Should it be petrol or diesel? This is the first and the most common doubt among most prospective buyers. If your daily run is not more than 50 km, it is better to buy a petrol. Though new-age diesels are efficient and offer good drivability, they require much more maintenance besides being on the costlier side than petrol. Petrol models are comparatively less expensive to maintain. But if you regularly drive longer distances, you can definitely go for oil burners.

Test-drive it with family

If the vehicle is meant for the family, it is better to go for a test-drive along with family members. In case there are elderly members in the family, let them take a ride in the back seat. Entry and exit are a matter of concern for all elderly people. Usually, test-drives are done on good roads. But if you want to check the ride quality and comfort, make sure you take it along all types of roads during the test-drive. It will be great if you can drive it along your usual routes, stretches riddled with potholes and those near your house.

Do you need top-end variant?

In vehicles, if you want all the features and specifications that the car maker claims you need to go for the full-option variant. This often encourage people to think that it is better to book the top-end variant. But it is better to choose the variant with the features that you actually require. For example, the top-end variants could have fog lamps. A city dweller may not need this feature at all. Why pay for features that you do not need? But it makes sense to choose the variants with parking sensors and other handy features. Your driving style and the places you visit pay a key role in choosing the variants.

Fixed EMI?

You have decided on your dream car. Now you have to look at financials. If you are taking a loan, you may come across several banks that are more than willing to oblige you. Before you commit, you need to know the technicalities of EMI. Some banks could have a fixed EMI, but others may have an EMI that is not fixed. For example, if you are repaying Rs 10,000 a month, and if you get Rs 1 lakh in your hand you can prepay that amount and help reduce either your monthly EMI or the tenure.

Interest rate

Check if your loan interest rate is flat or diminishing. If it is flat, you have to pay back a certain percentage of your loan amount every month. That means, even if you have paid back Rs 50,000 of a Rs 1 lakh loan, you continue to pay the interest for Rs 1 lakh. But if it is diminishing rate, you will have to pay the interest for the remaining amount only. So, it is better to go with a bank that offers diminishing interest rate.

Safety features

Often, we forget to check safety features of the vehicle. Give priority to vehicles that at least have a driver side air bag. Better, choose the one with two air bags in the front. Some vehicles have ABS as a standard feature. Instead of unnecessary luxury features, prefer safety features.

Inspect the vehicle

We pay our hard-earned money for the car. So, ask the sales executive to show the vehicle in the stockyard itself. Mostly they say no. Inside the showroom the vehicles are squeaky clean and it will be difficult for you to spot any issues. More often you find problems once you reach your home. A friend found that the doors were tight once he reached home. The showroom said it will fix it in the first servicing. But if you can inspect the car before you sign the papers, you can prevent such a situation.

Be wary of sales executives

Do not take this sentence in the negative. But do not rely blindly on your sweet-talking sales executive before taking a decision. Sales executives may choose to hide or skip certain features or issues. Insist on knowing each and every feature or the lack of it before you decide. If the showroom is offering any discount, try to get it in cash. If you do not get a good deal from a friendly salesman, forget friendships and look for another dealer.

After sales

We often forget to check this aspect when we buy a vehicle. Often people get a shock when they are told about the annual service costs. Before booking the car, ensure that you get full details either from the showroom itself or others on service and maintenance costs. You can check with others on how good the showroom is in providing after sales service.

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