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Getting a New Car: Top 5 Tips for First-Time Buyers

Hands shaking infront of car

As you enter adulthood, you are bound to make a lot of big decisions that can impact your life in many ways. One of them is committing yourself to buy your first car. It’s a significant and pretty risky investment, but there sure will be instances when you’ll feel so blessed to have your own vehicle. You’ll no longer have to wait in line to get on the train or bus, and you will certainly have more freedom to go on a road trip with your friends, family, and loved ones.

Indeed, owning a car offers plenty of benefits, but since it’s a pretty costly item, it won’t hurt to be extra careful when purchasing it. Here are a few helpful tips you can follow:

Assess Your Needs and Lifestyle

This one is for those who are still in a dilemma whether they should buy an automobile or not. To help you with your decision, it’s best to carefully evaluate your needs and current lifestyle. You can also talk to your friends and loved ones. Ask them about their thoughts and request them to help you make up your mind. Getting support from them will encourage you to come up with a decision that you won’t regret later.

Additionally, asking yourself some of these questions is a good way to tell if having a new vehicle is really necessary:

  • Do you have a driver’s license? If not, do you have the time to learn how to drive and get a license?
  • Will buying a car impact your life in a positive way?
  • Will you be able to allot the time needed to take good care of it?
  • Do you have a garage or at least enough space in front of your house where you can park it safely?
  • Do you have enough money to purchase it without falling into debt?

Take your time and think about each question carefully. In the end, if you answered more yeses than nos, then it’s safe to assume it’s a great idea to get a car for yourself.

Determine Car Features and Specs

Keep in mind that the car you’re going to buy will be your partner for a long time. So, it’s only imperative for you to choose really carefully and determine the features and specs you want to see in it. The most important, of course, are the ones for your safety. Be sure that the car you’re getting has airbags, anti-lock brakes, and crumple zones because they literally save your life during unfortunate circumstances.

Aside from safety features, you can also decide on the color, model, and brand of the car you really want. Lighter colors tend to be safer because they’re easier to spot even at night, but red, yellow, and other flashy colors are also popular. Smaller car types, such as sedans, are typically more affordable than bigger SUVs. As for brands, there are many to choose from, but Japanese car manufacturers are the most well-known in the Philippines.

It’s also a good idea to decide what type of fuel your vehicle should run on. Cars that use gasoline are known to have a lower upfront cost. Diesel-powered automobiles, on the other hand, are more expensive because of the additional taxes you need to pay when buying the unit. However, since diesel fuel is generally cheaper than gasoline, you’ll surely save up a lot of money in the long run.

Buy Within Your Budget

When purchasing your car, be sure you have the means to pay for itor at least the downpayment. Dealers offer many payment options, so you can choose whether you want to go with short-term or long-term financing. Of course, there are some pros and cons to both choices, so be sure to think carefully before arriving at a decision.

  • Short-Term–If you choose this, be ready to pay a huge downpayment. In some cases, they allow lower downpayment, but they charge higher monthly bills. On the upside, though, the interest is lower for this option, and you don’t have to pay for the car for many years.
  • Long-Term–The main disadvantage of this option is that you have to wait several years before you can finally pay for your car in full. Long-term financing options usually come with higher interests, too. However, there are benefits to it, including lower monthly bills and downpayment.

Apart from the overall price of the car, there are a few other expenses you might have to set a budget for. Maintenance, for example, can cost quite a lot, but they are crucial if you want to prolong the life of your vehicle. Don’t neglect regular oil changes and tune-ups because they prevent your car from experiencing different problems that might cost even more to fix.

Protection is also necessary, so many drivers advise getting car insurance in the Philippines. This way, you won’t have to worry about expensive repairs if your car gets damaged because of an accident.

Choose a Secondhand Car

Many people might be opposed to buying a secondhand car, but it’s not a bad idea to settle for it if that’s what your budget allows. The good thing about preloved options is you can save quite a lot on the expenses. The upfront cost is significantly lower, so you can pay for it in full in some cases. This means you no longer have to worry about monthly payments anymore, and you can set aside that budget for other expenses, such as maintenance and repairs.

Whether you’re purchasing from a trusted dealer or just an acquaintance, getting a secondhand car can be pretty tricky. Be sure to ask the vendor if the vehicle has any problems. It’s also a good idea to bring a reliable mechanic with you, so they can check the car if there are issues that the seller is trying to hide. Even if there are no huge concerns about the vehicle, it’s still best to protect it with comprehensive car insurance in the Philippines.

Get Auto Insurance in the Philippines 

A common mistake for first-time car buyers is thinking they can forgo getting car insurance in the Philippines. You might think being careful on the road is enough to protect your car from getting damaged, but that’s not necessarily the case. There are things you cannot control that can result in unfortunate events and harm your vehicle in the process. Having it repaired without insurance will surely cost you a lot.

Aside from that, getting auto insurance in the Philippines is a requirement, so there’s no way for you to neglect it. The compulsory third-party liability (CTPL) insurance is needed if you want to register your new car, so be sure to get it from a trusted company if you don’t want to encounter any problems with authorities. We offer CTPL insurance here at Cebuana Lhuillier. Visit our nearest branch today for more information about it.

It’s also advisable to protect your car with another comprehensive and affordable auto insurance in the Philippines. Even cheap car insurance is better than none. Here at Cebuana Lhuillier, you can get our AutoCARE insurance  to add another layer of protection to your vehicle. Reach out to the staff in one of our branches to learn how to get your car insured today!