Don't break the bank
Don’t overextend yourselves
WesBank, one of South Africa’s largest vehicle financing companies, has issued some sage advice for all South Africans: don’t spend more on a car than you can afford. While this may seem obvious, the fact is that many of us get carried away when buying a car and end up spending what the banks will lend us, whether we can afford it or not.
This is particularly true at the beginning of the year, when some of us have more financial breathing room thanks to annual bonuses, 13th cheques or annual raises. Instead of buying a new car, try putting a little extra aside for a rainy day or using extra cash to pay off existing debt, be it in the form of credit card debt, store accounts or existing car loans.
The most financially sensible way to buy a car remains to decide on a budget before you even start shopping. There are many financial calculators on the internet (almost every bank has one on their website) that you can use to determine what you can afford and what the monthly instalments will be.
Also remember that more expensive vehicles usually mean more expensive insurance premiums and more expensive running costs.
Bear in mind that buying a used car can be drastically more affordable than a new car, particularly when you purchase it from a reputable dealer that can offer service backup and also provide a history of the car you’re buying.
Another point worth keeping in mind when considering debt and affordability is buying a car with good resale value, Like a Toyota Etios or Hilux, otherwise you lose a lot of money when it comes time to replace it.
Maintaining a healthy budget and living within your means is something that consumers need to make a part of their day-to-day life, and the ideal time to get started is now.