Top 5: Car Buying Tips

So we thought of doing something fun for this top5 list but the local motor industry isn’t exactly fun at the moment; quite the opposite.

With that in mind we came up with a slightly more serious list – things we consider vital when purchasing a vehicle. Tough times and lacking funds should not be a reason to stop dreaming about your next car. We hope that these tips will encourage you to go out there and find your dream car!

1) PRICE – What can you afford?

Your dream car’s price comes first because it’s the most obvious hurdle – can you actually afford the price? Even if you negotiate a better deal, it is NOT a good idea to buy any vehicle with all the money you can currently afford.

The car’s maintenance and repairs (see below) are extra costs, never mind insurance, fuel, tyres, and so on. Plus, you don’t want to cut back completely on other luxuries like dining out, entertainment, hobbies, gadgets, etc. Speaking of which…

2) LIFESTYLE – What is the car used for?

Unless you just need something cheap to go from A to B (Aranos to Bethanie?), most modern cars have become an extension of their owner’s personality – and their lifestyle. From humble and cheap to fast and flashy, everyone has different needs.

Make sure you look at all available options in the market and think about what you will use the car for. For example, a double-cab bakkie can do just about anything but won’t be as economical in town as a smaller hatchback.

3) UPKEEP – Can you afford to run the car?

This is a very important point which often gets overlooked. Only a new car will drive without any maintenance for a while but eventually, even that will require a service, new tyres, a battery or new windscreen. Have you got the money for that?

By stretching your budget too far, these necessary items could be out of reach and eventually cause your car to break down or lose value faster. Purchase something more affordable and budget for repairs to always have peace of mind.

4) AGE – New, demo or pre-owned?

This is very simple – new cars cost the most money and are progressively cheaper as they get older. While you may be tempted to buy an old car for little money, the amount of repairs and upkeep (see above) may be very high.

We at NamWheels advise that you shop around and also speak to workshops if you’re interested in an older car. As a safer alternative, why not buy a demo or used car from a reputable dealer?

5) CONDITION – Do you have to spend more?

Last but certainly not least is the condition of that vehicle you’re eyeing. If it’s brand-new (or a demo unit) you don’t have to worry too much. Some used vehicles come with warranties or extra guarantees – be sure to study the terms and conditions of these.

If you have an old/er car in your radar, be sure to inspect it carefully and go for an extensive test drive before handing over money. Better still, take the car to a reputable workshop or the brand’s dealership to have it checked out!


Be very wary of these when you are looking at a car:

• Not in the owner’s name
• Missing or no documents
• Outstanding fines or license
• Balloon or residual payments
• Code 3, rebuilt or salvage title
• Private loans or loan sharks
• Rust, damp or bad repairs
• Unlicensed or scrapped
• Dodgy meeting areas

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