Avoidable Mistakes First-Time Car Buyers Make

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First time car buyers - Cheki Nigeria

Like most people, you are prone to making mistakes anytime you try to buy a car but for first-time car buyers, the risks are greater. If you are new to the game of selling cars, here are some common mistakes you not make.

Buying the Wrong Car

It’s perfectly fine to be in thrilled by the thought of finally buying your first car but that’s the only thing you should focus on. Don’t forget to consider how you are going to use this car in the long-term.

Driving to the beach with your friends is cool but have you thought about how the car will fare with your routines, which, for instance, can include hauling your drinks and other kinds of stuff home when you go shopping.

The truth is that the role your car plays can change drastically; depending on your lifestyle and the changes that take place. if you know your family has the likelihood to expand in a few years, you shouldn’t be shopping for a 2-seater. Experts have been unanimous on the submission that the best way to save money on vehicle expenses is to use the same car for a considerable number of years.

Buying a Car That Is Not Fuel Efficient

No matter how fancy or attractive your car looks, if it is not fuel efficient, you’re bound to regret your choice at some point. The cost of fueling your car should sit on top of your priorities when considering the options of cars to buy for your first car.

The fact that you can afford fuel your car three times a week does not make it a great choice for first-time car buyers. Don’t make an expensive mistake. Remember that the cost of fuel can rise astronomically over a period of time. Such a rise is bound to have a negative impact on the resale value of your car; especially if your car is a guzzler of fuel.

Don’t Acquire Expensive Problems

Used cars are not as expensive as new cars, which is why they are considered a fine choice for first-car buyers. You, however, need to be careful when buying used cars as you can unknowingly acquire expensive problems when you buy the wrong used car.

Sometimes, these complications are not obvious until you have driven the car out of the dealership. As a safety precaution, do not buy a car that has it’s ‘Check Engine’ light on. The only exception to this is if you know the specific maintenance check needed to resolve the problem.

In some cases, the problems indicated by an ‘Engine Light’ on might require just a minor fix like replacing an inexpensive part. However, the problem might be so serious that it would cost you several thousands of Naira to repair. The best way to know this for sure is to ensure the car is checked by an experienced mechanic who is versed in investigating car troubles and giving you an estimate for repair works.

Showing Off

You should not buy a car to impress your friends, neighbours, colleagues or family. One way to avoid this is to ask yourself one salient question – What are the things I need this car to do? Your first car needs to be reliable. It should be able to take you from point A to point B. It should be able to help you transport things that matter to you. If your car can do these things, it’s good enough for your first car.

Along the line, you can upgrade the car if you find a need for it but the crucial thing is that the functionality of the car should not be compromised. Don’t be tempted into thinking that a more expensive car will necessarily make your life better.

Don’t allow your emotion to rule your reasoning or your decisions on which car to buy. Approach the task of buying your first car the same way you would approach buying a tool you need at home.

Your Car is Not an Investment

Don’t fall into the error of thinking your car is an asset or a form of investment. In case you didn’t know, the value of cars drop as the years advance. What this means is that you can’t buy a car for N1.2 million in 2019 and expect to sell it for N2 million in 2021. Cars don’t work this way.

In some cases, dealers will encourage you to spend more on your first car by telling you that such a car is bound to have a better resale value of a period of time. This might be true for options like all-wheel drive and cars with automatic transmission. However, other options can add more money to your car in terms of cost yet, will bring you nothing impressive on resale value.

As we noted earlier, buying your first car is not an investment. Rather, it is an expense. Your goal should be to buy a first car that’s reliable and can help you move around. The only exception to this rule is if you’re planning to register the car as a taxi/cab hailing service like Uber or Taxify. In this case, your car can be considered an investment as opposed to buying it for personal use.

Failing to Negotiate

For first-time car buyers, your ability to negotiate is just as important as your ability to pick a functional car. You might not have a lot of experience when it comes to negotiating the price of a car but there’s nothing to worry about.

The pricing of cars is quite different from that of other items you usually buy. The price tags are largely mere suggestions and dealers are usually open to selling for a lesser price.

If you make the mistake of paying the full asking price of a car, you are most likely paying much more than you need to pay for that car. A few minutes of specialised car websites like Cheki Nigeria will go a long way in helping you get a market price range of the car you want to buy. Most time, you would probably even find better deals on such platforms. The goal of negotiation is to buy for a lesser price.

Getting Deceived Into Dealer Financing

First-time car buyers should do everything possible to avoid falling into the ultimate trap of dealer financing. The gravity of this mistake is so huge that it can render you financially enslaved to the car dealer.

For this trick to work, the dealer will work hard to convince you that it will be tough for you to get financing as a first-time car buyer. For the second stage, the dealer takes down some information from you and goes into his laptop and mobile device; seeming to scroll through several folders and documents. For the final stage, the dealer suddenly informs you that he/she has been able to get you a financing offer and add that you are qualified for the loan and should consider yourself very fortunate.

At this point, the dealer will explain some things to you and then ask you to sign to take ownership of the car. This is a trap – Don’t fall for it. The downside of this financing plan is that it comes with huge monthly payments. This is because the interest rates from dealers are usually higher than what you can get from other car finance providers.

You can avoid falling into such trickery by getting prequalified for car financing at a trusted car loan provider, Cheki Nigeria before you go shopping for your first car. This will give you a clearer picture of how much you can borrow to finance the car as well as what your interest rate will be.

Final Thoughts on First-Time Car Buyers

First-time car buyers who buy their cars based on trust or their relationship with the owner stand the risk of acquiring liabilities. Experts recommend that you should have a used car checked by a competent mechanic before you pay for it. It might be a bit inconvenient and you might incur some additional cost but at the end of the day, it is worth it. One thing you should never do is to buy your first car without knowing it’s mechanical history.

Are you looking forward to buying your first car? If you already have, what mistakes did you make when buying your first car?

Now that you have gone through mistakes you should avoid when buying your first car, are you ready to obtain one? Get started here with Cheki Finance.

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A Nigeria-based writer and blogger who has written and edited for top brands including The SUN, Punch, Newswatch, Pulse.ng, Bigsam Media, Nigerian Bulletin, Swish Interativ, Hello Nigeria, National LIFE, iCampus, Jobberman and Cheki.