Owning a car is the ultimate goal to many of us in the sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere around the world. A car speaks prestige (though not all 🙂 ) but these days it’s more of a necessity that a luxury. It saves you the hustle of long walks, the scram and scramble for public transport, gives you convenience, comfort and so on.
Being a car owner is one thing, maintaining it on the road in top notch condition is another. Cars start wearing out and depreciate in value as soon as you leave the dealership. Therefore, maintaining it on the road means you have to learn the basics of how a car works so as to be able to diagnose and predict certain problems.
I am not a mechanic by the way, but ever since I bought my first car, I have gained relevant experience in car maintenance that I can share with you so that you can get more miles on your car as well as hustle free driving and maintenance that will cost you no dime.
So let’s start from the beginning, you have saved enough money to buy yourself a second-hand car or your local bank has informed that you qualify for a car loan. Where do you start searching for a good car? How will you avoid being hoodwinked by car dealers, which is the perfect car for you?
To answer this I look at my own case, four years ago when I bought my Mitsubishi Gallant. I had already got my money in the bank that I had saved up. I did not want to take a loan since I was not consistently employed and it would be a hustle to get cash at the end of each month to service my loan. I had my budget in place and I went to a certain dealership near home to check on cars that range at that price.
You could have your own preference of the cars you fancy and go check on their prices if they fit your budget. From your budget check the reasons why you want to purchase a car, if it’s for a business, maybe a pickup would be a good bet. If you are looking for a family car, a station wagon would be a good pick. If you are a bachelor; there are sports cars that can fit your budget, if you need a car to go upcountry you might consider SUVs or 4wheel drive cars. For me, I just wanted a fancy looking manual car with a big engine that consumes less.
After you have narrowed down, you need to narrow down more. Check for cars specifications such as engine capacity, gear transmission, fuel consumption as well as customer’s reviews of the model online. This will help you have background information on the cars in your range.
The next step is going to different dealerships as well as online ones to see if they have the cars that suit your preferences from the list you have. However in online transactions, you need to exercise some caution, there are many crooks prying those streets. That doesn’t, however, mean that there are no genuine businessmen there.
Tune in for part 2