Looking to buy a car? New vehicles are being launched as we speak. What’s the market like? That may well be more of a function of where you are than you might expect.
We are seeing global carmakers slow down or trim production in response to many logistical issues, including the electronic chip shortage and shipping issues. This is greatly affecting many big markets and actually has been for a while. In some markets like the Philippines though, there are still many deals to be had for new vehicles. So much so that with the exception of collectible and enthusiast cars the secondary market doesn’t have the robust growth it has seen in other countries. Market forces are local of course, and the main Philippine market has had for years a regulation disallowing car use one day out of the week. Which of course means that people that can will buy or keep extra cars. Which of course goes completely against the supposed idea of reducing traffic. But that means that there is a pool of third or fourth cars that are still able to come onto the market.
What should you actually be looking at then? Just the new deals or should you be looking for used bargains? And what else should you be thinking about? Keep in mind that some brands have horrendous customer service reputations in one country but not in others.
Brand new vehicles will give you more confidence, hopefully. Less stress for the first few years, an easier sell when you are done if you take care of the car using the brand-authorized service centers. One thing new car salespeople may tell you is that new cars will have better resale value, but take that with a grain of salt and some time calculating on a sheet of paper. Paying less for a used car may well mean that the overall difference between your buy and your sell can be less overall.
But as we always say, newer vehicles should have newer safety systems and that’s a key point. Resale value should always be secondary in terms of importance. They can have the benefits of more modern power plants that van be potentially more efficient and environmentally friendly, though also remember that your right foot and how you hit the accelerator is probably the main factor. And for many, the ability to integrate into already-comfortable systems like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are key. That means new cars would be the ideal.
But remember that there is more than just the flash and ease to think about. What will your daily commute be like? The big SUV may look great but what if your son needs to drive through crowded streets and park in tiny spots for school? And new cars bring new car costs, particularly with insurance. In some countries you almost need to have a top car accident lawyer ready to go to if things get bad fast, such is the litigiousness of many markets.
It really comes down to what you personally need to address, and that includes not just the love for cars or the need for transportation. There are many hidden costs and hidden dangers, but there are also many unexpected joys that can be had. In today’s busy world, the simple drive in your car may well be the only respite you have from a hectic day surrounded by others. Traffic may be a chance to listen to a book or try a podcast. As we always say in Cars Casually, Buy what you love but do your homework.