The Road Ahead : October 2012
The test drive You've done the research, and come up with a shortlist of potential cars. Now it's time for the all-important test drive. Unless you are a trained mechanic, or take one with you on the test drive, it's hard to know what to be on the lookou for. So it's comforting to know that one of the most important aspects of the test drive begins before you even turn the key in the ignition. "Ask yourself -- Do I feel comfortable?" Mr Manning said. "Are the instruments and controls on the dash logically laid out? Can I see properly?" It's a good idea to plot out a section of road that best represents your driving area so that the test drive will be an accurate indication. During the test drive, listen out for any unusual or abnormal noises. Mr Manning said it doesn't matter if you can't identify what the noise is -- just recognising it's there is a start, and you can have it investigated professionally. What next? The time has come to put pen to paper and make a five to seven year commitment to the financial institution of your dreams. Manager RACQ Loans Debbie Pahlke said there were many things to consider when shopping for finance. "To make it simpler from the start, rather than comparing interest rates and fees, compare the actual repayments on the same loan amount and loan term to find the most affordable loan," she said. "It may just save you money in the long run." QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 73 OCT/NOV 2012 THE ROAD AHEAD BUYING A CAR MEMBER ESSENTIALS TOP 10 FINANCE TIPS: To take the stress out of shopping for finance, RACQ has developed a list of things to consider when looking for a car loan. 1. Are there monthly loan administration fees? A $10 per loan administration fee can add $600 additional cost to a five year loan. Try sourcing a loan with no monthly administration fee. 2. Obtain a pre-approved loan and know how much you can spend. 3. Check early discharge fees. If you expect to pay the loan out early, then understanding how the early discharge fee is calculated is important. 4. What are the 'up-front' establishment fees? Establishment fees are usually added on to the costs of your loan and can add quite a significant amount to your loan and your repayments. 5. The lowest interest rates don't necessarily mean the best deal. When comparing quotes, it is best to compare the actual 'loan repayments' based on your specific loan amount and term. 6. What payment methods are available? 7. How often can I pay my loan and are there any additional fees if I choose to pay more than my regular loan repayment? 8. Are there any monthly statement fees? How can I access my loan balance, and if I require a loan statement is there a charge that applies? 9. Apply carefully and protect your credit file -- each application made will often place an enquiry on your credit file. Every time you apply for credit, even online, there will be an enquiry entered on your credit file. Some financiers will be cautious with your application if they see that you have recently applied to three or four other financiers, so be aware of this when submitting multiple credit applications. 10. Be comfortable with your decision. Expect to feel a little uncomfortable given the enormity of the decision, but if you feel pressure to apply with a specific provider, ask for time to consider. Never sign any documents you don't fully understand. See racq.com/carloan or call 1300 361 316.
August 1st 2012