Don’t buy a car. That’s what is promoted in millennial circles but it’s truly unrealistic. In South Africa we have a variety of transport systems. We have buses, trains and taxis, but they’re of a subpar standard. These systems are unfortunately unreliable in that delays happen frequently and there’s the element of petty crime (sometimes serious crime) that happens amongst the community of people who make use of the transport systems. Too often we hear of taxis in major accidents or trains being terribly delayed by hours at a time.


Professionals need cars

If you’re a professional who needs to be in the office at a certain time, or your job entails you being mobile to meet with clients or even take clients and colleagues out for meetings and meals, then you cannot rely on the public transport systems in this country.  What’s more, if you have children or are planning on having them in the near future you need reliable transport. Finding transport at the drop of a hat in the case of emergencies is not easy, unlike in the United Kingdom or America where you can find a train station on any corner which is clean and security monitored. So, unfortunately you are going to need to purchase a car.


You can pick the car of your choice

In today’s economy the idea of choosing your own car sounds ridiculous. After all, it’s only the very wealthy who can afford the luxury of choice right? Well, no. That’s wrong. In fact, there are many reputable second-hand car dealerships who can find a vehicle to suit your specific needs at a fraction of the asking price if you buy the car brand new. Plus, second-hand is just better. You don’t lose as much value as you do on a new vehicle and with a car being a depreciating asset, you want to mitigate against major money losses.


What are your dealbreakers?

You need to decide on the type of vehicle you want to drive, what your non-negotiables are when considering purchasing a car and how much you can afford in monthly instalments. Furthermore, don’t forget to consider resale value. At any time you can consult an online car book value calculator and ascertain an estimate on how much your car is worth. This gives you an idea of how much money you will get for it when you want to sell. In fact, enter the details of the car you’d like to buy into the car book value calculator and find out if the current asking price is worth it.


Got kids?

Of course, your lifestyle requirements play a big role in deciding on a car. If you have children then a two-door will make life tricky. Similarly, if you if you have more than one child and they have a variety of extramural activities that see you carting them and their equipment around every weekend for matches, then you’ll need something a bit bigger. There is also the safety factor in that bigger vehicles can more safely carry a number of passengers. The last thing you want is you and your family stuffed into the car.


How often and how far do you drive?

You need to also consider how much driving you do in your everyday life. If it’s a lot then you might want to consider investing in a car with a diesel engine. These are more expensive to purchase but your monthly fuel expense will be less than a petrol engine. If you have family out of town or have a holiday home that you frequent, then investing in a diesel engine is best. Essentially, if you travel over 20 000kms a year you should consider a a diesel engine vehicle.


Do some research

Have you looked into the specs of each vehicle you’re possibly interested in buying? You should. Read online about how they are rated by the professionals and then have a look at second-hand dealerships who have this car on sale. Also, read up about the different models you can get and try to find out about maintenance plans for the specific make and model. You need to find out if parts are easily available and affordable in South Africa. For instance, French car manufacturer Citroen or even Renault will likely cost you more to maintain as the parts need to be ordered and usually from overseas.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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