By Andrew Rasch
Published: Friday, February 10, 2023
Buying a brand-new car is one of life’s joys. The unmistakable smell, fancy tech, and the feeling of a smooth leather steering wheel are hard to beat.
But the overwhelming choice and significant expense can leave you feeling a little daunted. We’ve put together some tips to help you make a decision when it comes to your new pride and joy.
1. Think safety
Safer cars save lives, so put safety at the top of your shopping list. Rather than evaluating all the safety features yourself, visit ANCAP’s website where they’ve done the hard work for you. Aim for a 5-star ANCAP safety rating and buy the safest car you can afford.
2. To EV or not to EV?
Unlike 3D television, electric vehicles are here to stay. The Tesla Model 3 was Australia’s top-selling mid-size sedan in 2022, so is now the time to swap the petrol pump for an EV charger? Sit down, think about your current mileage and running costs, and do the maths. For example, electricity can be cheaper than petrol and diesel (especially if you have solar), so have a think about how long it will take for the savings to offset the higher purchase price. EVs are the way of the future but make sure buying one suits your current circumstances.
3. Shop around
To narrow down your wish list, write down the pros and cons of each model and be realistic about your needs. With your budget in mind, do plenty of research and shop around for the best price. The internet is the best resource when it comes to getting a good deal, so arm yourself with plenty of data and don’t be afraid to haggle at the dealership.
4. Nail the test drive
With so many hard-earned dollars at stake, it’s critical to get this right. Don’t rush the test drive and try to keep your emotions in check. Be honest and objective. Will the car suit your family arrangements and lifestyle? Will it fit comfortably in your garage? Does it have all the features you need? Think about ongoing costs like fuel, insurance, and tyres. If possible, use a route chosen by you rather than the salesperson and test a variety of road and traffic conditions.
5. Do due diligence with finance
If you need a loan to buy your new set of wheels, do your homework and speak to the experts. Compare interest rates and consider things like fees, terms, and whether you can pay the loan off sooner. Have your finance pre-approved – it will give you peace of mind and some better bargaining power at the dealership.
6. Getting insurance
Although we hate to think about it, what if something happens that leaves your shiny new car, well, not so shiny? Before you drive out of the showroom, consider getting insurance for life’s mishaps. Not all insurance policies offer the same cover so be sure to check specific inclusions and exclusions as well as limits.
Comprehensive Car Insurance is issued by RAA Insurance Ltd ABN 14 007 872 602. AFSL No. 232525. Limits apply. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination available from the RAA website when deciding whether to purchase this product.