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Checklist you should follow for buying a car

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Are you planning to buy a new car? Purchasing a car is an exciting life event. However, if you have limited knowledge of cars, the car selection and buying process can be intimidating. There are many things to consider such as the car brand, model, interiors and exteriors, driving comfort, appropriate new car insurance, and more. Sounds complicated? Well, worry not.

We have compiled a simple checklist of things to keep in mind before bringing a shiny new car home

1.Research, research, and research

Do you know when you do most of the work for buying a car? It's even before you enter a car dealership. Assess your needs. Do you need a family car or one for yourself? Do you intend to use it for leisure purposes or daily up-and-down? Do you have any specific model in mind? What features do you need in the car? Do you need a new car, or would a second-hand one be okay? Answer these questions and shortlist the one that meets your needs.

2.Check the interiors

Since you are going to own that car for a long time, you have to carefully check the interiors of your car. Check the upholstery, quality of seats, and floor carpets. See if the AC is effective and is working properly. Carefully inspect the dashboard, glove box, seatbelts, and other features for their functioning.

3.Check the exteriors

While advertisements show every car as a perfect match for you, in reality, it is not so. Inspect the exteriors of the car carefully. Inquire if you have any doubts. If you see any damage, talk about it with the salesperson.

4.Look for extra features

There are a plethora of extra features available in cars. Check the ones that come with the car and ask about the ones you would like to get installed for an additional cost. The touchscreen infotainment systems, automatic climate control, sunroof, music system, and fast charging outlets are some of the common additional features people typically pay for.

5.Take it for a spin

Never buy a car without taking it for a test drive. A test drive will help you determine if the car is suitable for you or not. Try to test in the same environment you plan to use the car in. Use the brakes, check the acceleration, try parking in a tight spot, and evaluate the smoothness of the ride. Try driving it on different terrains.

6.Read the paperwork well

This is particularly important. Read the paperwork carefully before signing the contract. Pay extra attention to closing costs, added fees etc. Examine the terms and conditions of sale and warranty.

7.Select car insurance

New car insurance is another integral item to decide before buying a car. In India, third-party car insurance is mandatory. However, it does not cover damages to the policyholder’s car. So, for wider coverage, you must opt for comprehensive insurance. Decide what kind of insurance you need. Check the inclusions and exclusions of the policy and the premium you will have to pay. Many car insurance providers offer add-ons such as zero depreciation cover and a No Claim Bonus protector to enhance coverage.

Things to do Before Going to the Car Dealership

Before you get to the actual buying of the car step, there are many things you have to decide. Some of them include:

1.Decide financing options

A car is an expensive asset. And since it is going to be with you for quite some time, the first thing you should decide on is your budget. After deciding on the budget, decide how you want to finance the purchase. You can go for a car loan or dealership financing. Both these options have their pros and cons. Research them well before deciding.

Try to give a bigger down payment and choose shorter repayment tenure. It will help you save a lot of money on interest. Remember, paying for the car will not be the only expense you have. There’s the cost of insurance, additional feature charges, registration fees, and taxes, among others.

2.Check your credit

Your credit score significantly affects your loan amount and interest. A higher credit score will help you get a higher loan amount at a lower interest. Meanwhile, a lower credit score will do just the opposite. Build a good credit score before applying for a loan.

3.Paperwork

Prepare your documents such as proof of insurance, driver’s licence, and payment method beforehand. Depending on where you are, you will require a different set of documents. If you are using dealership financing, you will also need other documents such as proof of employment and ITRs.

Things to Remember while Negotiating

Never make an expensive purchase without negotiating. If you do not know how to negotiate, take someone who does. Be persuasive and confident.

●Be confident

Confidence is the key to getting a good offer. Don’t rush, stay calm, and be confident. Have your second option ready in case it doesn’t work out with the first one.

●Ask about deals

Festivals often come with several deals for customers, which make them the best time to purchase anything. Ask about the festive deals at the dealership. You can also search for special pricing options beforehand. Look at new car insurance policies to include in the pricing options.

●Counteroffer

Always make a counteroffer. However, the number should not be outrageous. It should be something that makes the salesperson think you are serious. Research well about the best pricing before going to negotiate.

Buying a car is a crucial life event. It will affect your life for several years. That is why it is important to be careful about every aspect of it. Compare the car you like with the checklist you made. Does it meet all the must-haves in your list? Buy it only when it meets all your conditions. Check your financing options and budget, and keep some leeway in it. Aim for maximum benefits and the best possible deal you can get.

Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purposes only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.

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