Looking at a new car? What else should you be thinking about?
The world is in an unusual situation right now. Some people haven’t been moving much at all, others are behind the wheel or the handlebar more than ever as they eschew public transport. Some countries and companies are struggling to sell their vehicles, others are facing a shortage because of increased demand. In countries like the Philippines, vehicles from Lamborghini and Porsche barely have time on the showroom floor if at all, they are that much in demand. Some collectible cars are so in demand that newbies are already being warned to be careful of questionable practices. And some buyers and dealers and car companies may have to face the confusion of taxes/levies/deposits imposed by government that may very well make things worse. So the buy alone can be complicated enough.
But for most of the buyers, there are other issues to look at. This is particularly true if you are a new buyer. You may be seduced by all the great deals (in some countries) or scared of the lack of stock (in others). But there are other concerns. One of the biggest that people often forget about is insurance. It may usually be packaged as a come-on by the dealer, but many people aren’t aware of the possible costs. For many people, an insurance choice is a key point as they want to be able to have the least amount of problems if anything happens. And as always, check your local situation, as many countries suggest you have a car accident lawyer you can call in case something bad happens. Hopefully not.
There are also changes in maintenance costs happening. Some car companies are extending their warranty periods, some are offering free service for a particular period and lessened number of services needed per year. You need to understand these and look at them, as sometimes lessened visits to the service center doesn’t mean lessened amount you are paying per year. Also, these costs may well be more dealership-specific than brand-specific. Some dealers may well operate in a way you would far more appreciate than others. Don’t assume the most convenient one will give you the most convenience.
Another changing issue is the cost of just keeping your car parked. Some urban centers have seen a huge outflow of residents and daily business inhabitants, yet you haven’t seen any real lowering of parking costs. Many malls are trying to attract people by providing services they suddenly find they need such as tollway contactless payment options, which is a very useful thing.
We have been going through this for over a year, and we really need to plan for uncertainty and change. Having a car you can rely on and enjoy is a great way to get through things, but be aware that even with the car ownership experience there is uncertainty. Plan for that as well.