Tips for first time car buyers

Tips for first time car buyers

There is a first time for everything, and sometimes your first car purchase can be frightening and exciting at the same time. A Car, after all, is often the second most valuable item you will buy in your life, after your dream home. The combination of fear and excitement makes this moment one of the most memorable in your life. However, some first time car buyers may not have a good experience because they have made some mistakes in their decision such as buying a car that does not suit their personality or daily needs. To help our readers get the best out of their car purchase, whether they are brand new or used, Carmudi PH has prepared these tips for first time car buyers.

Make sure that the unit is still in good condition

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Don’t just jump in on the deal because of the affordable sticker price. As much as possible, assess the car’s every detail. Does it have scratches and dents? Could it have been flooded? Is the electrical equipment working? Are the tires worn out? Is the transmission already loose? Does the engine produce suspicious noises? If you have little knowledge about cars bring someone with you who has a better understanding, preferably a mechanic so he can assess the car for you. Never forget to test drive the unit and take note of how it handles when accelerating and turning into corners. If you find some problems do not hesitate to ask the dealer about the car's history and its previous owner.

Get a car with a good crash test score

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Little or no experience of driving a car can pose some serious risks for newbie drivers. During their first three years of driving, first time car owners experience several minor collisions with other cars and road obstacles. This is fairly normal, and many veteran drivers also experienced these small bumps when they first started out. To play it safe, make sure that the car model you are buying has an overall crash test score of at least four stars. This rating tells you how safe passengers will be if the car is involved in a road accident. One of the well-known agencies that test crash worthiness is the European New Car Assessment Programme or Euro NCAP.

Go for a transmission that suits you

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One of the common debates for first time car owners is whether to get a car with manual or automatic transmission. The answer is simple: get a transmission that suits your driving preference and the road conditions of your most common route. Below are the brief pros and cons of manual and automatic transmissions.

Manual

Pros: Cheaper to buy, maintain and repair; more fuel efficient, better control Cons: Harder to shift gears

Automatic

Pros: Easier to drive in stop-and go traffic, shifts gears more easily Cons: Costs more, heavier transmission boxes

Know the car’s fuel economy

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Most first time car buyers are students and young professionals and one of the first things they discover about owning a car is the added cost of gassing it up. If you are preppy about your budget, take into consideration the amount of fuel a car consumes. Ask the dealer how many kilometers the car can travel with a liter of gasoline or diesel. If you are still wondering what cars are economical, Carmudi has listed some of the most fuel efficient cars in the Philippines. Also, take into consideration your probable driving habits and daily-drive road conditions such as highway and urban environments.

Be aware of your financing options

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Filipinos primarily look at two factors when buying a car though installment plans or financial options: the down and monthly payments (usually 3 to 5 years). Only take the financing option if you really can not purchase the car in one go. You are actually losing out in this deal as you have to shoulder the average interest on top of the basic price. For example, car dealers will usually charge a yearly add-on rate of an average of 9 percent for a brand new Mitsubishi Mirage compared to banks that offer 6 to 7 percent. Also, if you are using financing options, don’t forget to ask for the common dealer freebies such as:
  • Free LTO registration for three years
  • Free chattel mortgage fee
  • Free 3M tint or similar paint
  • Equipment such as a car cover, front windshield or window shade, car matting and golf umbrella
 

Recommended Cars for First Timers:

Factoring in these qualities, we have narrowed down some of the best cars for newbie drivers, with the 5-star rating being the highest:

Geely LC

Base Price: P398,000 Safety Rating: 5-star (China-NCAP)

Honda Jazz

Base Price: P778,000 Safety Rating: 5-star (Euro-NCAP)

Mitsubishi Mirage

Base Price: P523,000 Safety Rating: 5-star (Asean-NCAP)

Toyota Vios

Base Price: P592,000 Safety Rating: 4-star (Asean-NCAP)    

Explore Mitsubishi Mirage G4

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