MOTORING CORNER : “What you need to know about buying a vehicle”

When making a decision as to whether you go in for buying or leasing a new or used vehicle, you must first consider a number of factors. This is a major expenditure, both because of the initial cost and the recurrent expenses thereafter, e.g. fuel, insurance, repairs, licences and fees, etcetera. Regrettably, many people embark on such a mission with very little or no knowledge of motor-vehicle, pricing and payment options.

When making a decision as to whether you go in for buying or leasing a new or used vehicle, you must first consider a number of factors. This is a major expenditure, both because of the initial cost and the recurrent expenses thereafter, e.g. fuel, insurance, repairs, licences and fees, etcetera. Regrettably, many people embark on such a mission with very little or no knowledge of motor-vehicle, pricing and payment options.

Sometimes, a decision you make can have such adverse effects on your life that, it could even spill over to the lives of your immediate beneficiaries as; it may compromise their lives by encroaching on the disposable income that would have otherwise been spent on them.

There is no harm adhering to some or a few of the tips meant to make you a more informed and confident motor vehicle owner.

Before You Buy a vehicle, you must first set your budget; this will enable you to identify a vehicle that best suits you and falls within your financial capabilities.

For Christ’s sake, don’t buy a car because your friends have bought a certain type. Buy a vehicle that will fall best within your income bracket. Make sure that you will be able to pay for it as well as maintain it without making your life a living hell!  

If you chose to go ahead and own one, make sure that you carefully make a decision of whether to go in for leasing to buying.  Leasing is the process where you rent a property for an extended period of time.

You can alternatively enter into a “lease purchase (hire purchase)”, under this method; you pay for the vehicle over a long period of time.

The advantage is that, you can terminate the purchase and treat the payments so far made as lease or rental fees or you can go through with the process and have the vehicle on your books after the last instalment.

The only setback with this method is that, you will pay more than if you had carried out an outright purchase.  Choose the right dealer if you are to get the best benefits or else, you might get less or no warranty benefits unless you buy through a recognised and authorised dealer.

Another important aspect is that of serviceability as well as availability of consumables.  It is useless buying a type of vehicle that will give you sleepless nights when it comes to finding spare parts or even the right mechanics. 

The other issue to consider is whether to buy a brand new vehicle or a used one.  A number of factors will determine this.

After all, if you buy a brand new vehicle, you will get that peace of mind of being the first and only one to have owned that vehicle, but one year down the road, will that vehicle remain brand new?

Buying a low mileage used vehicle may be next to buying a new one or even better when it comes to the saving! However, be very careful when buying a used car, look out for the following:-

Does that vehicle have any lien (counter claims) on it?  E.g. unpaid taxes, disputed ownership, mortgage etc. Is it an accident vehicle (this is common with low mileage vehicles) that has been repaired and put up for sale? Some of the vehicles being sold off are normally as a result of flooding, here, the vehicle may have been partially submerged in water and hence the decision to dispose it off!

What about stolen vehicles that might be on the Interpol list of wanted vehicles! A few years ago, an NGO in Kigali bought a SUZUKI Grand VITARA. Unknown to them, this vehicle had been stolen from Nairobi.  This vehicle was fitted with a hidden tracking system. 

Two or so years down the road, one of the NGO’s big boys travelled to Kampala, as soon as he had parked at Kampala Sheraton Hotel, the vehicle was tracked and they came for it!

What saved the guy is that he was an American of reputable standing.  Such a scenario could be very dangerous!

If possible, try finding the service records of the vehicle to be purchased as well as the former ownership and usage patterns.

This would help you ascertain which vehicle has been well maintained and which have been mishandled!  Say, if you are ordering online, make sure the vehicle actually exists rather than paying for air!

If not sure of the dealers’ track record, you can check them up on the internet and if possible, contact the countries where these companies operate so that you do not get cheated!
 
We at Motoring Corner would like to wish you a Happy and Prosperous 2010, drive yourself to success.
 
motoringcorner@live.co.uk

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