Affordable finance for one of your greatest assets

After a home, a car is typically one’s other prized possession. We like to think that we spend a lot of our lives in the walls of our homes, but the truth is, for a lot, if not most, more time is actually spent behind the wheel!

When we realise this little fact, it’s often quite easy to convince ourselves (if we weren’t already doing so), to buy something that is the best that money can buy. Something stylish, but not too flashy, something that comes with its luxuries, but doesn’t’ necessarily need to parallel park itself! All these ideas race wildly through our minds and we search high and low to find something that is essentially an extension of ourselves and our personalities.

Sounds like quite a decision, right? Well it certainly is, and it’s even more of a decision when you realise that vehicles are actually extremely expensive. What with all the bells and whistles that are almost always built in as standard features these days, it’s no wonder that prices have skyrocketed! Gone are the days where you had the getting you from “A to B” cars, now it’s something you need to determine you can even afford!

Luckily, there’s no need to hit panic stations, or a need to start bicycle shopping just yet. While you may have a deposit for the dream car you have in mind, there most likely is still a large amount that needs to be paid, that you can simply finance. Vehicle finance comes in all shapes and forms from different lenders that are willing to offer these types of personal loans, therefore it’s always best to do some shopping around for the best deal.

How and where do find everything to lead me to a decision?

The best place to start is always your nearest and dearest – family and friends. We all have cars and therefore everyone will have an opinion or a token of advice that might push you in the right direction. If you feel like your info but it’s a little scattered, go online and read reviews from other individuals who have had experience through different banks and see where the highest ratings are for vehicle finance.

There are also handy loan comparison sites if you’re fresh out of luck and would rather base facts up against plain facts in order to decide.

What are my financing options?

The most obvious choice when purchasing that dream vehicle that you’ve had your eye on for a little while is to use the tailored loan type that meets the needs of this requirement – which is vehicle finance through means of a vehicle finance loan. Of course, there are alternative options, such as the general personal loan and even secured short-term loans, but often that doesn’t ideally suit the requirements in terms of period and interest rate for vehicle purchasing.

The other option that is typically presented in these circumstances is the option of how to go about obtaining your financing. You can either go to your bank directly and apply for a loan amount with vehicle specs and everything that you wish to stipulate in terms of deposit and desired length of the loan, or rather go the easier route and just let the dealer apply for your finance on your behalf! If the vehicle is sitting in their stock in their showroom, they will be only too thrilled to do this on your behalf because for them it’s a sale!

The benefit of going through their finance house, is that they are already open to receive lower rates and great deals with the relationships that they have earned over the years of applying for finance on their vehicles. That way, you are sure to get improved interest rates than if you apply on your own.

Does my credit score heavily impact the finance approval?

As with any loan that you apply for, having a poor credit record will unfortunately not count in your favour. It’s always best to try and revitalise that score and get it to a healthy place before trying to obtain further lines of credit on your name. That said, there are many loans for bad credit that will allow you to purchase a vehicle.

Remember, it’s not only your score that could count against you, it could be your age and your income as well. You need to earn enough and have a disposable income amount that comfortably can afford the repayments on the vehicle loan. You also need to be 18 years or older and have proof of employment and an active bank account which reflects your incomes and expenses.

Taking this all into account prior to applying for finance online will help guide you in the right direction regarding the cost of the vehicle that you can afford to buy.

Do I go new or used when choosing my dream set of wheels?

That is totally up to the buyer! When you purchase a new car, remember that you are paying a high price for a car that most likely drops in value each day you get into it, so it’s usually recommended to not go brand, brand new as there’s no real point unless you’re very fortunate when it comes to your financial situation and losing money on a car doesn’t faze you, in which case you most likely wouldn’t be financing one at all!

There are benefits to going relatively new, however, and that is that the car is generally neater, less likely to have much wear and tear on it and also comes with a shiny and very attractive warranty. We tend to take warranties for granted, but it’s never something that we should ignore and shove to furthermost corner of our minds because all services and in most cases any damage on parts are easily replaced at no extra cost to your wallet!

Newer cars are also known to have lower interest rates attached to the finance deal due to the obvious reason of being lower risk. Insurance is typically lower too, based on the same reason.

Some hot and helpful tips when buying your dream car:

1. Make sure that you research all that you need to in order to come to the best decision, both financially in terms of the tpye of loan (avoid quick loans and short-term finance options), as well as realistically – i.e. does it suit your needs; is it economical; is it 2-door or 4-door

2. Have a budget in mind that you know you can afford, and don’t deter from it because the car next to the one you wanted is shinier and comes with heated seats. Heated seats won't’ help when you can’t pay the bank.

3. Be wary of the additional fees that get added to the finance deal, or at least prepare to have these added, so make sure you include them in your budget.

4. Don’t be afraid to exercise your negotiating skills. Dealers are well aware that people like to negotiate, so they cover themselves (like all good salesmen) by giving themselves a little leverage on the price to negotiate down when you ask for it.

5. Do thorough inspections! You might think you have a good eye until you take a real car guy with you and he starts pointing out the rust points that you missed as well as the low tyre tread all the tyres. These friends are useful, don’t’ be afraid to take them with you and use them!