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Four signs it’s time to buy a new car

Deciding to buy a new car can be a difficult decision, especially if you’re trying to save cash or you’re simply not ready for all the admin that comes with purchasing a new car. However, sometimes holding onto your old car could be more costly and it might be time to start researching the different cars for sale in South Africa.

Barend Smit, Marketing Director of MotorHappy, says there are four clear signs that it’s time to buy a new car. “The two most obvious signs are (1) there’s always something to fix and (2) you’re not sure if you’ll make it to your destination. If it feels like the maintenance bills are adding up and the list of repairs is getting longer, it might be time to consider a more reliable option.”

Jeremy Clarkson seems to think that cars get a personality only when they start to break. But a car having ‘personality’ doesn’t get you to work and rarely makes you feel good. If you need in-depth personal knowledge to operate certain parts of your car, it’s probably not safe for you or other road users anymore.

“For some car owners, options such as maintenance plans and extended warranties could help manage the financial burden,” explains Smit. “A maintenance plan covers all aspects of servicing and maintenance and could help keep your car on the road for longer. Extended warranty options can offer further protection against mechanical or even electrical failures. These plans usually come with easy budgeting options, which means you are prepared and covered (in most cases) for unexpected maintenance costs.”

While the first two signs that you need a new car relate to your safety, as well as the safety of other road users, the final two signs are more about enjoying your ride. “If you’re a car enthusiast, the joy of the ride is of utmost importance,” points out Smit. “Remember when you first drove your new car? The excitement, everything felt new, the drive. If you’re not getting pleasure out of driving your car anymore, and if that’s important to you, then that’s the third sign that you need a new car.”

The fourth sign that you need a new car is that your life has changed, and your car no longer meets your needs. “If you’re in a new life stage, you might need your car to change with you. Kids, jobs, longer/shorter commutes, hobbies – these could all have an impact on the kind of car that suits your lifestyle.”

Should I buy new or used?

Once you’ve made the decision to purchase a new car and you’ve worked out your budget, your next question should be: Do I buy new or used?

It is possible to get good new car deals, especially towards the end of the year when so many car dealerships are offering specials. “Brand new cars are more expensive than used cars, and let’s not forget they depreciate the minute you drive them off the lot. However, one of the greatest advantages of buying a new car is that you can choose colour and any other trimmings right from the start. Not to mention that new cars usually come with some sort of motoring plan which helps you save money in the long run,” says Smit.

“Most of the time, buying a previously-loved car is the most affordable option. Thankfully, South Africa’s secondhand vehicle market is growing rapidly and there are plenty of good quality, used cars available to consumers.”

Smit cautions that it’s important to do some research before you buy a second-hand car. Buying from a dealership provides you with a certain level of protection, and under the Consumer Protection Act, the seller is forced to declare any known defect to a potential buyer.