Buying a new car should be a fun, exciting experience. Browsing vehicles, choosing the right one, then slipping behind the wheel of a bright, shiny new motor, ready to hit the road in style!

But often the number of questions associated with purchasing a new vehicle can turn a thrilling time into a stressful one. Between worrying about finance, knowing what to ask the dealer, and even deciding on which type of car to choose, the purchasing process can be a tricky one if you’re unfamiliar with it. That’s why at Old Mutual iWYZE, we’ve put together a list of tips to guide you all the way from browsing to buying with as little hassle as possible.

1. Decide what you can afford

It may seem like a given, but working out how much you can afford to spend on car payments every month is a crucial first step to buying a new vehicle. It’s no good deciding on the car of your dreams, and then realising you won’t be able to afford it – or worse, crippling yourself with debt in order to make your payments.

That’s why before you buy a new car, it’s imperative that you calculate what you can realistically afford to spend on repayments every month. Also make sure to budget for essentials like car insurance, and occasional repairs too.

2. Decide what type of car you need

Again, perhaps an obvious step, but another important one nonetheless. Deciding on the make and model of car you need, rather than want. If you have a family, there’s no point investing in a two-seater sports car. Similarly, if you’re an urban warrior, there’s no reason to spend more than you can afford on a giant 4 x 4.

That’s why in order to ensure you choose the ideal car for your lifestyle, first make a note of exactly what it is you need from a car. Once you have a clear idea of the necessary specs and features, you’ll have narrowed your search considerably. After this process, you’ll will have a clearer idea of which type of vehicle would suit you best.

3. Secure your financing

Some dealers may try to persuade you that securing financing is only necessary once you come to actually purchase a vehicle. In fact -walking into a dealership with approved financing gives you more negotiating power and allows you to find the best interest rate.

What’s more, having your financing approved before visiting a dealership may leave you with extra money to pay associated fees and taxes. These are costs that you might otherwise have to cover yourself after purchasing. As such, applying for vehicle finance before making an actual purchase can give you a welcome advantage.

4. Choose a dealership

Once you have a shortlist of potentially suitable vehicles to purchase, and have secured financing for yourself, it’s time to visit a dealer. In South Africa, you’ll want to make sure any dealer you choose is a member of either the Retail Motor Industry Association (RMI) or the Independent Dealer Association (IDA). Both of these associations are accredited organisations that are regulated in order to ensure fairness, compliance and best practice standards. Before you approach any dealership, first make sure it is affiliated with either of these organisations in order to protect your rights as a consumer.

5. Go for a test drive

Now comes the most important part of the purchasing process – your questioning of the dealer. Before you make a decision on which car to buy, you’ll need to make sure you know it inside and out. That means asking the dealer questions about service plans, specifications, warranties, optional extras, or any other information you may need. This is also your opportunity to take your shortlisted vehicles for a test drive. Maybe even a few, if you feel it necessary. Make sure you know how well the car handles, how comfortable you feel driving it, and how confident you are behind the wheel before ever making an offer. And when it comes time to discussing price, remember that the door to negotiation is always open – and can sometimes lead to you paying less than full sticker price too!

6. Sign the paperwork

Once you have decided on your vehicle, and have accepted the price as quoted to you by the dealer, you will need to sign the paperwork in order to finalise the purchase. Make sure that you have your valid South African driver’s license with you, as well as proof of car insurance, and sign the contract once the vehicle is ready for delivery and you are fully satisfied with it.

7. Take a tour of your new car

While you could just as easily familiarise yourself with your new vehicle at home with the driver’s manual in hand, having your dealer take you through the various features and functions of the car will allow you to ask on-the-spot questions. Make sure your dealer runs through the dashboard functionality with you, any technological features such as Bluetooth, the type of petrol your car takes, and shows you how to open your bonnet and petrol cap too. Lastly, make sure you have a copy of your car’s instruction booklet, service manual and original registration, and you’ll be ready to drive off and rule the road!

Insure your new car with iWYZE today

Remember that when buying a new car, you’ll need to provide proof of insurance – which you can do with a car insurance quote from Old Mutual iWYZE. Contact iWYZE for a car insurance quote by calling 0860 63 33 39, submitting your details, or requesting a quick quote online, and let us help you move forward as safely and affordably as possible.