As any car owner will know, owning a car isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Yes, the freedom and independence that comes with having a car makes up for the stress endured and inevitable hole in your pocket. But, researching the pressures and requirements involved in owning a car before you commit to investing in one is crucial.
Countless carlot, pushy dealers, and the insistence to bargain.
Before you’ve even looked at a car, just the sheer mention that you’ve decided now is the time to start looking brings a whole world of questions and peer pressure. From “how much are you willing to spend” to “don’t leave the carlot without a test drive”. Everyone will want to put in their tuppence worth, most of which will be informative and helpful but can paint a menacing picture of car agents.
Although it always pays to be cautious and straightforward when buying a car, no matter the amount of experience you have, don’t let this put you off. Be open minded when looking, confident when asking questions, and honest about what you want. When you believe you’ve found a car of interest, then go about carrying out checks on the car, bargaining the price, and taking it for a test drive.
By choosing to do it this way, you can be assured that any and all questions have been answered, that you’ve chosen a car fitting with your requirements, and you’ve got it at a price you can afford.
Seriously though, which car to go for?
Those around you will for sure have their own opinions on which car is unreliable, which one will guarantee you receive your money’s worth, and which car will be the bane of your life. However, the decision falls entirely on you.
Firstly, decide what features you would like the car to have, whether that includes small things such as air conditioning and central locking, or larger features like a built-in sat nav and cruise control.
Next, it’s time to do your own research. Find out which makes are most suited for the style of driving you’ll be doing. For example, Ford is ideal for those who embark on long commutes every day, whereas Benz are preferred for social use.
Lastly, settle on a maximum price that you could go to and don’t budge from it. Setting a price range will make the narrowing down process much easier and avoids any dangerous temptation further down the line.
Admittedly, there’s no hiding the fact that a car is a decision which shouldn’t be made lightly, and the cost plays a big part in that.
Naturally, the more you spend on a car, the better it should perform and the more reliable it should be. Now, the amount you’re able to set aside will be determined by what you can afford and what you expect to get out of your car. Stick within your budget and always attempt to knock a few digits off the initial price, especially if you notice some issues or faults with the vehicle.
Now, you’ve got the car, it’s time to look after it.
Unfortunately, vehicle expenditures do not stop at buying the car- the upkeep itself can leave a considerable dent in your wallet. With annual MOT’s, road tax and insurance renewals, as well as the occasional service, it’s definitely not cheap to ensure your car is safe and runs smoothly.
Just when you think everything’s covered, there couldn’t possibly be anything else left to do, you’re hit with a flat tyre. Or a loose exhaust, or an overheating issue, or a faulty starter motor, or one of the other countless unexpected faults. This obviously means you’ve got to visit the mechanic workshop in order to have it fixed.
In hindsight, investing in a full car service before any long trips and keeping on top of general maintenance, –filling your tyres with air, changing the oil, and filling up the water coolant – help to reduce the chances of this happening. But, there are some instances that can’t be avoided and occur completely by surprise.
Time to get rid, but how?
At the end of your car’s lifespan there are various routes you can take when looking to get rid of it. These include selling privately or selling it to a car dealer. You might also consider trading the car on the forecourt for a new one or scrapping it entirely.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you, but decide in line with what you’re willing to do and the value of the car.
With all this in mind, cars are massive commitments and investments of time and money. Nonetheless, the ability to go wherever you wish and to run errands easily completely outweighs any of the negatives. There is a lot of pressure when you become a car owner and no decision involving said car will ever be easy. But, if you take the correct measures and precautions when making those decisions, things should always work out in your favour.