By Theodore Opara
IN recognition of International Youth Day, observed annually on August 12, Ford Motor Company and its local dealer Coscharis Motors would like to provide the youth of Nigeria with tips on purchasing their first car. Here are eight tips that will help in making the correct car purchase decision.
Budget: The price tag on the car is only a part of the total cost of ownership. There are many additional costs that catch many first-time buyers off guard. Whilst doing your research and deciding which car you want to buy, keep the following in mind: Insurance: How much will your car of choice cost to insure? Visit insurance websites and request quotes to get an idea of what you’ll be paying for vehicle insurance. This would depend on whether you are taking comprehensive or third party insurance.
Maintenance/Warranty: Most first-time car buyers have a very tight budget, but it’s worth paying a little more for a decent maintenance/warranty plan.
Expected mileage and fuel consumption: Many first-time car buyers often don’t realise the impact fuel costs will have on their monthly expenses. If you tend to do a lot of driving, you’ll need to be very conscious of fuel consumption figures whilst shopping around.
Research: Research is probably the most important part of buying a new car. Once you’ve narrowed down the type (size and use), start looking at your available options. Do thorough research (company websites, reviews, word-of-mouth) and narrow it down to a handful of options.
Choose your Dealer: Finding a good dealership is important because they are the people who will be looking after you and your car for many years to come. Ford’s local dealer in Nigeria, Coscharis Motors has 12 major dealership outlets across Nigeria where you can find a suitable Ford vehicle. These dealerships include four in Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Kano, Akure, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Enugu and Uyo.
Specification & Accessories: Some people find reading through specification and accessory lists a little tiresome and even daunting, but many manufacturers have brilliant brochures you can download. This gives you an overview of the most important features of the car and will also help you narrow down your questions for the dealer. We know it’s tempting to only look at the fun stuff such as entertainment features and cool wheel options, but it’s best to start with safety and comfort features. If you choose a car that already has excellent standard safety features, you’ll have more room to play with accessories.
Paying for your new car: Majority of customers don’t have the cash available to purchase a car outright. This is where you should carefully consider how you wish to finance your vehicle. When you take a loan to finance your vehicle, a finance company will calculate your monthly repayment based upon a number of factors, which include your ability to repay the loan, your credit worthiness, the amount you wish to borrow, and the period over which you wish to repay the loan. As you are borrowing money, you will be charged interest. It is therefore important to ensure you receive a competitive rate of interest, as interest rates will vary by lender.
Understand the terms and conditions: It’s not pleasant, but make yourself a cup of coffee and read through the terms and conditions – you don’t want any surprises later on. And, because not everyone is a legal eagle, ask your dealer to run through the T&C’s with you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure you fully understand all the fine print before signing on the dotted line.
Insurance: Aside from shopping for the most cost-effective insurance, it’s important to understand exactly what your insurance covers. Vehicle insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product and you need to make sure you get the right cover. Shop around and get to grips with the detail of different insurance policies. Love your Car: Once you’ve bought your awesome new wheels, make sure you take care of it properly. Follow the maintenance guide and ensure your car is booked in for scheduled services.
The most important thing to remember is to take the time to look at your options –do your research on the car you want to buy as well as finance, insurance and details of the warranty plan. You’ll be driving this car for many years and you want to ensure you get the one that’s perfect for you. In addition, always do some extra research such as a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) check and custom paper verification to ensure that the import duty is paid.