The Road Ahead : October 2012
the good oil on car buying It's second only to getting into your own home, but buying a car needn't be a daunting process. STORY DEB ECCLESTON What should I buy? A smart way to start is by referring to the annual Australia's Best Cars magazine or website (australiasbestcars.com.au). As the name implies, this is a listing of the best of the best of more than 350 new vehicles across 15 categories. To tailor the search to your needs, click on the My Best Car tool on the website. Select a category, then adjust the weighting of each selection criteria that you consider important. My Best Car will calculate and identify the three vehicles, in order, that best suit your requirements. New or used? There are pros and cons to buying either a new car or a used car. Given a new car loses a third of the value over the first two to three years, it makes good financial sense to buy a used car. The beauty of buying a new car is that you know the car has a clean slate and a full warranty. With a used car, you can never be 100 percent sure of its history. For this reason, Mr Manning said it's important to get an independent vehicle inspection on a used car, whether it's bought privately or from a dealer. It's also a good idea to do a search on the national Personal Properties Securities Register (PPSR), an online tool that provides a detailed history of the car and costs less than $5. racq.com/vehicleinspections. ppsr.gov.au Both are a small price to pay considering they could save you thousands. racq.com/buyingacar ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 72 THE ROAD AHEAD OCT/NOV 2012 MEMBER ESSENTIALS BUYING A CAR WHATEVER THE REASONS for replacing your car may be, they are all important in the decision-making process. Why? Because understanding what you don't want in a car helps in deciding what you do want. According to RACQ technical researcher Russell Manning, it is essential that car buyers document exactly what they are looking for in order to make an objective decision: a list of 'must haves' and 'nice to haves'. 'Must haves' are those requirements that led to the decision to buy another car in the first place. For example, a family expecting a third child might need to upgrade from a two-door hatch to a seven-seater. 'Nice to haves' are those bonus features, such as a leather trim or bluetooth. From the moment you walk into the dealership, you need to be clear on what you are looking for. Car sales staff are trained to sell, and you must be prepared to stick to your budget and focus on your needs. On that basis, it's important to do your homework.
August 1st 2012