Gone are the days when buying a car was a luxury. Now, vehicles have become a necessity. However, buying a car can be a huge commitment in one's life.

Here's a quick guide on what you should look out for before buying a car:

1) Have a budget

Know your financial capability and get a car whose monthly loan repayments would be a burden. The rule of the thumb is your car repayment should not exceed 10 percent of your take-home pay. For example, if you earn around RM5,000 monthly, getting a BMW is definitely not a viable option.

2) Decide, and plan your repayment schedule

Settling on a nine-year repayment period may bring down the quantum of monthly repayment, but at the end of the day, you would end up paying up more for the car, after factoring in the interest. Save up and pay more downpayment to bring down the ensuing costs.

3) Get from a trusted dealer

Nowadays, it is common to see people claiming to car sales agents advertising the latest cars for sale for the lowest price possible. Don't fall for such tricks as you risk falling victim to a scam. Always check out and purchase from an authorised dealer near you.

4) Always have extras monthly for maintenance

Having a car can be a costly affair, given the petrol, toll, and other maintenance expenses. Before you commit to owning a vehicle, be sure that you have the capability for footing such bills when the needs arises. It would be a foolish move to buy a car, only to keep it covered at home because you can't afford to bring it for a spin, while you are servicing the loan.

The steps above apply when buying a new car. The following are steps to observe before buying a used vehicle:

1) Scout online

Websites like Mudah and carsome, for example have a good list of cars for sale from around the country. When buying used cars, the cheapest does not necessarily mean the best, as the car could be going for cheap as it had previously been damaged in an accident, flood, or other incidents.

2) Opt for 'newer' cars

By this, we mean cars that are not older then five years. Older vehicles are more likely to have more wear and tear, and cause more problems afterwards. On the other end of the spectrum, there are also older cars with very low mileage due to low usage. In whatever the case, it is best to have your would-be vehicle thoroughly checked by a qualified mechanic for any signs of damage or meddling.

3) Insist on a test drive

This point applies to both new and used cars. This way, you can feel and hear abnormalities (if any). The things you have to look out for when test driving are the steering and braking capability, as well as how smooth the car feels (and sounds) at high speeds.

4) Test the engine

A thorough check of the engine in used cars is crucial to determine whether there are any oil leaks, problematic wiring, or faulty parts. Apart from the faulty compartment, you should also check the interior of the car, especially the speedometer, for any signs of meddling or damage.

5) Get it from the owner

When buying a used car, the best bet would be to get it from the previous owner. This way, you get to negotiate the price and don't forget to ask for the complete service record. Buying vehicles from middlemen may saddle you with hefty bills later.

These are just examples of things you should look for, and observe, before investing in a car. Hope this list has helped you. What other points do you think should be included in this list?

Source: Maskulin
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