Brian Joss – Buying your first car is a major step toward personal freedom, but it is important to not get caught up in the excitement of being mobile and end up tripping on some common pitfalls.
In assisting consumers who might be in the first-time buying market, or even those seeking to upgrade their current car, WesBank has outlined some useful tips to consider along the purchasing journey.
“We encourage consumers to understand the factors that influence the car buying journey, from various financing options and the cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle,” says WesBank Head of Motor, Ghana Msibi. “It’s also important to maintain a good credit history as this is a large contributing factor to receiving finance from banking institutions.”
Research, research and research: it’s important to research the various car models available using your financial circumstances for initial budget guidelines. The South African market features a particularly large variety of entry-level options, so it’s essential to investigate as much about your future wheels as possible before signing on the dotted line. This includes assessing the fuel consumption of the possible vehicle, insurance costs and the price of potentially expensive maintenance items such as replacement tyres. It’s also highly advisable to do business with reputable bank-approved dealers.
Have the required documentation: without a valid driver’s license, no dealer or bank can finance a car, so it’s important to have a valid driver’s license prior to buying your car. Upon applying for your vehicle loan, a dealer will also request a payslip together with three months bank statements as proof of income. These, among other documents, are used to determine the finance amount the bank can offer you based on your income and expenses.
Be realistic about what you can afford: no matter which car bracket you’re searching in, from entry-level to multi-million-rand exotics, there is almost always temptation to shop outside of budget constraints. That fancy sports car may be attractive but it’s imperative to not get trapped in a car you can’t afford with possibly overwhelming monthly repayments and maintenance.
“Financial awareness and health is of utmost importance and consumers should continuously engage with banking facilities should they feel financially overwhelmed for guidance and support,” said Msibi.
Factors that may hinder your car buying journey: failure to maintain a good credit history can lead to consumers being blacklisted or entering debt counselling. Such outcomes affect one’s credit profile which can hinder the banks from providing finance when required for a vehicle or other purchases.
Therefore, it is important to be financially responsible, budget accordingly and live within your means in order to maintain a positive credit history.
First-time buyers are invited to visit the Festival of Motoring to be held at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit from August 22 to August 25. The four-day motoring extravaganza will cater to all consumers, including those who have never purchased a car before, with exciting displays of various models and interactive experiences.
CAPTION: Dream wheels: buying a new vehicle. Picture: Motorpress