Buying a car for the first time is always a difficult and challenging experience. Afterall, aside from it being probably your largest purchase outside of your home, the market is awash with literally hundreds of different models, and the marketing divisions of these automobile producers make them all sound as though they are the best buy on the market.
The best advice is to start researching the market. Read the reviews and understand the pros and cons. Then you need to look at your budget, and see what’s on offer from there. You can find plenty of available cars on Gumtree SA.
Working out your budget is critical in order to avoid your new car becoming a worry. You need to plan not just for the refinancing costs, but also for running costs and especially maintenance costs, as servicing costs are escalating, especially for entry-level cars. Then you need to also consider how you are going to finance your car. Here you need to look at a vehicle finance bank that is reputable and trustworthy, with a long and respected history in the local market.
If you have a small budget, you should look to buy a secondhand car for starters, and then through experience move up the ladder in time. Cars that are popular sellers are so for a reason, as they generally offer you good value for money and little in the line of mechanical problems. They are also relatively easy and affordable to maintain, have low running costs, and have a good resale value. These are the key points you need to consider when buying your first car, irrespective of your budget, in fact.
For a small budget buyer, you should look at the compact market. This segment has been flooded in recent years with low-cost vehicles, mainly from Korea, China, and southern Europe; however, often cars that are being sold at very affordable prices become high-cost items as soon as you need to service them or start buying replacement parts, while service networks too can cause frustration.
Reliable brands would include Japanese manufacturers like Toyota and German automakers like Volkswagen and Opel, which have acceptable running costs as well as good service networks throughout the country. It is no coincidence that Toyota have been a major player in the local and international market for exactly that reason, and this brand might be a good starting point.
It will be a very frustrating experience if your first venture into the motoring world is plagued by mechanical problems, high service costs, high maintenance costs, and little prospect of recovering much money on the used car market because of the car’s undesirability.
If your budget is larger, you might still look at the German and Japanese producers for makes like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Toyota, and Subaru, for example, before building up some experience and moving into the higher and exotic automakers.