Buying a car
Buying a car is exciting, but it also brings financial obligations. If you’re thinking about getting behind the wheel, it’s time to carefully review the associated costs.
Owning a car
When deciding if you can afford owning a car, it’s not just the purchase price of a car you have to consider; there are quite a few additional expenses such as:
- Registration / license fee
- Repairs and maintenance
- Parking and toll fee
These can add up to a significant amount. In particular, depending on where you live, parking fees can be very expensive.
Choosing the right car
Buy a car that matches your driving habits and budget. You may be able to find a great car for less money if you buy a used model. Dealerships often have a selection of late-model used cars traded in by other customers. You can also buy a used car from private individuals who advertise online or in newspapers, but make sure the car’s paperwork is in order. It’s also a good idea to have an independent mechanic to give the car a close inspection.
Research all the options. Newspapers, websites and magazines are good sources of information. Go online and visit manufacturers’ and dealers’ websites. Use social media to read reviews and comments from other car buyers. Finally, visit dealerships and discuss your needs with sales staff.
Paying for your car
If you won’t be paying for your car outright, you’ll need to finance the purchase. Your options are:
- Bank loans. Speak with your bank and see how much you can borrow. Then you’ll know exactly how much you can spend and how much your monthly repayments will be. A good way to reduce the monthly repayments is to start with a sizeable down payment.
- Dealer financing. A car dealer will usually be able to organise a loan for you. Be aware that dealer financing may cost more than a bank loan, so make sure you understand all the repayment terms and conditions beforehand.
- Leasing. Leasing means you don’t own the car; instead you pay to use it over the length of the lease. Typically, lease repayments are less than bank loan payments, but you are locked into the lease period, and there are penalty fees if you want to break the lease. When the lease period is over, you can return the car to the dealer or buy it at an agreed price.
Motor insurance is insurance to cover loss or damage to third parties and, depending on the policy, your car as well. The loss can be a result of having a repair your car following an accident for example, or paying compensation to a third party for the property damage, bodily injury or death. However, coverage varies according to the policies.
Under the Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) Ordinance, it is compulsory to take out insurance with an authorised insurer to cover your liabilities for injury or death of third parties arising out of the use of your motor vehicle.
Just as the case in buying your car, you should research different options for motor insurance and select one that best fits your needs. More about motor insurance.
Consider taking these steps to keep your motoring costs low:
- Think small. a smaller car and a smaller engine can make a big difference to saving gasoline cost.
- Drive less frequently. Just because you own a car doesn't mean that you always need to drive it. It can save not only your money but also wear and tear on your vehicle.
- Consolidate your trips. When you do drive, plan your trips so that you can go to multiple destinations all on the same trip instead of making separate trips.
- Drive carefully. It keeps you safe as well as saving you costs on repair and maintenance.
Always keep an eye on how much you are spending on your car and review every now and then if you still need to keep a car.