Congratulations on making the decision to buy your first car! Without a doubt, this is an exciting time. Perhaps you have just gotten your first job, or you have reached a place where a car is now a necessity. Whichever the case, buying a car, while a memorable time, can also be daunting.
With hundreds of models to choose from, where do you even start? You may have your dream model in mind, but your budget might not agree. Do you buy a car locally or import one from Japan? These are some of the decisions you have to make. Luckily, you don’t have to do this alone. Below, we have given you our best tips to help you plan as you buy your first car.
Evaluate your needs honestly
There is a good reason you feel that this is the right time to buy your first car. Perhaps you are finally making some good money, and you want the freedom and independence that a car brings. Maybe you have started a family, and moving from point A to B with kids has become tricky. Perhaps your new employer is offering you an affordable loan for a car. Or maybe you can no longer keep up with the hectic matatu scene, and you need a car to get to work every day.
All these are valid reasons for wanting to buy a car, and they should also form the basis of what to buy. Understanding why you need the vehicle will take you a step closer to purchasing the right one. Remember, a car, while convenient, is an added expense.
Think about Vehicle Utility
Another important factor to consider as you decide on a car is utility. In other words, will the car serve you as you need? If work in an area with poor roads, can it hold it’s own from point A to point B? For example, a Toyota Auris might be cost friendly, but can it take 20 kilometers of dilapidated roads every day? Perhaps you have a farm, and you transport vegetables to the market regularly. In this case you may need a Pick Up, or a vehicle with a spacious boot/ trunk. If you are the adventurous type and you enjoy family outings, camping and road trips, you may need a spacious SUV with 4*4 capabilities. Thinking about how you will use a car will help you choose one that gives you the right utility.
Decide on a budget & method of financing
This may be the most significant factor to consider when buying your first car. How much do you want to spend, and where is it coming from? Are you buying it from your savings, a bank loan, or a combination of both? You may find it more practical to set a budget range and then decide on an acceptable vehicle within that range. We all have that dream car that we would want but may not afford as a first car. After evaluating your needs, income, access to finance, and expenses, you will develop a logical budget for a vehicle.
Do you want to buy locally or import from Japan?
One of the first questions to ask yourself is- do you want to import a car or buy one locally? There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Importing from Japan gives you a chance to be the first owner of a clean, low mileage vehicle. The downside is that the importation process takes up to two months, so you would have to be patient. Buying a car already in Kenya means that you can drive off with it in as little as a few days when you find the right fit. Here is an article with more information on importing vs. buying locally. After you have made a decision, the next step is to find a suitable make and model.
Explore your options
Armed with a budget and an understanding of what you need, you can now begin looking at various models that fall within your range. You can easily search for cars online or visit local showrooms in Nairobi to get an idea of the price range. The Sunday car bazaar at the Nairobi showground is another place where you can compare car models, check out the interior, engine and ask questions to understand the car better. Most car dealers will be able to give you several options for cars that fall within your budget. They will also advise you on cost implications for importing so that you can make a comparison.
Understand associated costs
With the excitement of buying a car, you may overlook some of the associated costs that will inevitably build up with time. For example, if you get a loan from the bank or your employer, you will be repaying monthly with interest. As you consider your budget, this is one of the things that you should factor in. Before you walk out of a showroom with your car, you will need to get car insurance, and we advise that you buy comprehensive insurance. Other associated costs include fuel and regular maintenance service.
Looking for expert advice as you buy your first car?
Are you in the market for your first car but you are still not sure what to buy? Are you wondering whether you should buy locally or import? Our sales team at Croton Motors is ready to answer all your questions and help you make a decision that you will be happy with. Contact us today, our visit our showroom along Karen Road.