Shopping for your first car is exhilarating. Whether you are buying a new or used car, or trading in your current vehicle for a newer model, there is something quite thrilling about making your first auto purchase. You are, quite literally, in the driver’s seat, after all. However, as any seasoned vehicle owner will tell you, there are quite a few things to bear in mind before you sign on the dotted line. This includes:
Knowing & Understanding Your Credit Record
There are very few of us who can afford to buy a vehicle in cash. As such, most first-time buyers opt for finance. If you choose to go this route, you’ll need to be sure of your credit record. Your credit activities are recorded and monitored by four main credit bureaux that have been approved and registered with the National Credit Regulator (NCR) in South Africa. These companies calculate your credit score based on your credit history and financial activity. If you pay off your debt consistently without missing any payments, your credit score is likely to be good, i.e. you seem like a safe borrower to potential lenders. However, if you miss payments or have gone in arrears in the past, you will appear risky and have a less positive credit score.
TOP TIP: You can request a free credit report once a year from a credit bureau like TransUnion Credit Bureau.
Creating A Budget That Falls Within Your Means
Know what you can afford to spend before you go out to test drive any vehicles. You are less likely to overspend on a vehicle once you’ve done your due diligence and know what you can afford. Remember to think further than just car installments. You will also be incurring monthly fuel costs and toll fees, and there might be interest rate increases that could affect your repayment rate further along the line.
Budgeting For Upkeep & Insurance
Upkeep and insurance are two further factors that could impact on your ability to afford your chosen vehicle in the long term. Insurance is a grudge purchase for many, but think about it this way – if your car gets written off in an accident, you will still need to pay it off. Additionally, the upkeep of your car should not be seen as an optional expense. When you maintain your vehicle according to the service station schedule, you are less likely to run into unexpected running costs, and your car will be a more attractive prospect if you decide to sell it later along the line.
These are a few of the most important things you should keep in mind when shopping for your first car. Keep your eye on the blog in coming weeks and months as we share more insider info on auto transactions and more. In the meantime, feel free to visit your nearest Nissan dealership or reach out to one of our knowledgeable representatives to learn more about the vehicles we have on offer.