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Love at First Drive: Buying a New Car and What to Look for

So, you’ve decided it’s the year of change and kicking it off by buying a new car.  Congratulations! But before you buckle up for this exciting journey, there are important factors to consider to make sure your love affair with your new wheels starts on the right track.

Your Guide to Buying a New Car

Buying a new car might feel like there’s just too much to consider, but we’ve simplified the process into easy steps for you.

1. Look at Service History and Reliability

Begin by researching the car’s service history you have your eye on. A vehicle that’s well-maintained will likely be more reliable and save you from unexpected repair costs.

You can ask for maintenance records if it’s a second-hand car. Check for any manufacturer recalls, and ensure the vehicle has been for its regular services according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

2. Negotiate Smartly

Negotiating the price of your new car can be daunting, but it’s a crucial part of the buying process. Don’t let your love for that shiny new car blind you.

Instead, research the fair market value and be prepared to negotiate based on this information. Don’t forget to include additional costs, like taxes, registration fees, and any add-ons you may feel are necessary.

3. Read Reviews about Dealerships

Before stepping into a car dealership, you should read reviews from other buyers. This can provide valuable insights into the business’s reputation, customer service, and transparency.

A positive experience with a reputable dealership can significantly enhance your overall satisfaction with the car-purchasing process.

4. Consider Different Insurance Premiums

Did you know the type of car you choose can influence your insurance premiums? Safety features like advanced airbags and collision-avoidance systems may lower your premium. On the other hand, a flashy sports car could increase it.

Consider this aspect before falling head over heels for your dream car to ensure that the overall cost of ownership fits within your budget. Read through these common insurance myths and misconceptions to determine what else could influence your car insurance premium.

5. Look at Financing Options and Interest Rates

Understanding your financing options and the interest rates available is crucial. Therefore, check your credit score beforehand, as it plays a significant role in the interest rate financial institutions will offer you.

Shopping around for financing might help you secure the best deal, potentially saving you thousands of Rands over the lifetime of your loan. If you’re not good with numbers, get someone you know and trust to help you.

6. Test Drive and Inspect the Car

A test drive allows you to evaluate how comfortable you feel driving the car, so don’t skip this step. Additionally, get a trusted mechanic to inspect the car to identify any potential issues that may be less obvious during a standard test drive.

Note that it’s best to make an appointment to test drive the vehicle to ensure you don’t show up when the dealership is too busy.

7. Research Fuel Economy

Fuel is the next highest money-guzzler besides the monthly cost of paying for your vehicle. Consider the long-term costs of running the car by evaluating its fuel efficiency.

A fuel-efficient vehicle not only saves you money at the petrol pump but also contributes to a greener environment.

8. Make Use of Service Plans and Budget for Maintenance Costs

Some car dealerships offer extended service plans that cover routine maintenance costs. But take some time to evaluate these plans and weigh the benefits against potential out-of-pocket expenses before signing any contract.

Understanding the long-term service costs of your chosen vehicle will help you create an accurate budget for your vehicle-related expenses.

9. Factor in Monthly Payments and Purchase Price

While considering the overall purchase price, also factor in your monthly repayments. Ensure that the monthly amount aligns with your budget and financial goals.

10. Buy Car Insurance

Once you’ve chosen your dream car, it’s time to protect it. When shopping around for car insurance, consider factors like coverage options, deductibles, and discounts. Research how the chosen vehicle, its safety features, and your driving history can impact your premium, if at all. Most importantly, only buy car insurance from a trusted and accredited car insurance company.

Get Affordable Car Insurance Today

Your safety and peace of mind matter to us, so we’ve created car insurance covers to suit your budget and needs. Start by filling out this obligation-free application and get your quote now.


This article provides general information about buying a new car in South Africa. Always follow the South African law and rules of the road to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of your fellow commuters.

Remember to always buy car insurance with much thought and only through a certified financial services provider.

Contact us today to learn more about getting affordable, comprehensive car insurance with fixed premiums* and a reduce-to-zero excess*. *T&Cs apply.

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