Buying a car is not rocket science. On the assumption that you have a budget to work with, you can easily negotiate for the best price that will allow you to sleep comfortably at night.
Over the years, however, we have heard so much advice about when actually the best time to buy a car is and how to do it. As well-meaning as our family, friends, or the occasional Google Search results are, not all car buying advice you have read or heard about will hold water nowadays.
Here are a few car-buying myths you should take with a grain of salt.
#1: Buy a brand new car for peace of mind
Sure, there are advantages to buying that all-new ride from the showroom. Perhaps the best would be that you will drive off with a fresh set of wheels without worrying about what component will fail next. But as with everything in life, nothing is perfect. Not even a brand new car.
Think about the stress your brand new car purchase will induce as you try to cough up cash for its monthly amortization. And the cost of preventive maintenance servicing, which manufacturers require to be done at their dealerships to preserve the car’s warranty. All these will go on for at least three to five years. Comprehensive insurance? The cost of brand-new car parts? It can be overwhelming.
Consider checking out Carousell Autos for its latest car sales listing. Or visit a preloved car lot. Or talk to an owner who is letting go of his ride. The initial cash outlay may be lower and more attainable, along with the accompanying maintenance and parts costs, when buying a secondhand car.
#2: Buy secondhand to avoid depreciation
Conversely, not all pre-owned cars are equal. Some are well taken care of, others are just used and abused. While you save a ton of money when you let someone else take the depreciation hit, you also need to make sure the car you are buying has been properly maintained and cared for.
Bringing a trusted mechanic with you to inspect a preloved car before buying it is one way to know what you are getting into. Check for parts that may need replacement soon, or services that have been long overdue. How about repairs that may hide the true condition of the car? Use this information to negotiate for a more acceptable price for you and the seller. For more tips on buying a secondhand car, check out this article.
Back in the day, when a seller said a car was lady-driven, it usually meant that the vehicle was gingerly piloted, well-maintained, unmodified, or even not raced. Perhaps even immaculately clean and sanitary. Political correctness has shown however, that both men and women do have dark sides in car ownership.
Gender has nothing to do about how a car has been owned. What is important is the current condition of the car while you are considering buying it. This, and how organized an owner is in keeping track of his or her car’s maintenance and ageing, will determine its value come selling time.
#4: Monthly car payments work out best
Well no, they do not.
If you compute the total amount you put out for the next number of years, plus the down payment you put in, it will come out more expensive than the vehicle’s Suggested Retail Price (SRP) by a shocking margin. Banks, lending institutions, and even dealerships, thrive on loans and financing deals. Dealers and sales agents even get a commission for every car loan they process. Even if you bring your own financing, the interest rates will make the whole deal more expensive than they should be.
So, in order to save money on your next car purchase, it is best to put aside enough cash for the whole amount of the car. Or you can consider buying a lower-priced, well-maintained preloved ride at half or more of the cost of a brand new one.
#5: Buy a car anytime you want
In the Philippines, sales targets in car dealerships are king. And in typical Pinoy fashion, transactions will suddenly jack up towards the last week of the month as sales agents rush to make their monthly quota targets. Buyers will likely get their loan approvals by this time as well or manage to save just enough to pay in cash by the end of the month.
Either way, it makes perfect sense to time your purchase as the month ends as dealerships will more likely succumb to your pleas for more freebies and discounts.
#6: Buy now or lose the deal
Sales agents will always pressure you to commit to a car purchase now. They may even tell you that the offer they are giving you will be null and void if you do not say yes at that moment or before a certain date.
The truth is, promotions and offers are very much part of the car selling game. As dealerships manage their stocks, they will come up with enticing price cuts, throw in loads of freebies and promise the moon and stars just to make you buy the car. Guess what, this will all happen in one way or another next month, and the month after that.
Buying a car must be a coming together of various factors to make the purchase right. Do not ever let an agent force you into making a decision you are not comfortable with.
#7: Drive home the car of your dreams today
Car ads will always try to convince you that you can bring home your car as soon as you pay for it. This however is not always the case.
Unless you are buying a preloved car from its actual owner, the chances of bringing home a car are close to slim. It takes about 2-3 days to prepare, detail and tint a car. If you are buying through a loan, factor in 1 to 2 weeks for the dealership to confirm your credit.
Buying a car from a high-volume dealership will make the wait time even longer as more sales mean more preparation time for each transaction.
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So, have you decided to take the plunge yet? Be armed with the fact that as a customer, you have some leeway in dictating the terms of the sale. If you find a seller or a dealership too rigid with what they can offer you, contact or reach out to another dealer or seller and see how you can get a better deal. On Carousell, you’ll have access to a wide number of car sellers so you can easily negotiate or find “the one”.
Filipinos have a habit of saying, “Anything is possible with a polite conversation.” Surely, buying a car can easily be one of them.