Buying a car
Planning to buy a car? Questions to ask when saving big on your purchase. Image Credit: Pexels/Antoni Shkraba

Dubai: Although buying a car seems like it would be a simple process, when it actually comes time to look for and buy a car, whether it be a new or used car, things get complicated pretty quick.

That’s why you’ve got to know what you’re looking for. In the search for a car, ask questions, get answers, and find out what’s really going on with the car you're about to spend a lot of money on.

3 general questions to ask yourself when buying a car
1. How much can I afford to spend? Make sure you know your budget before you go looking. Also, this will help you decide if you need to look into financing or not.

2. How big of a car do I need? This will help you narrow it down based on things like how big your family is, if you will need to haul a lot of stuff, or if you will be driving it in narrow streets.

3. How will I use this car? Depending on your needs, you may need a specific kind or type of car.

While always making sure you test drive the car before you buy it, also find out what fees you will have to pay in addition to the price, because you will never pay just the listed price.

Planning to buy a new car? 5 questions to ask

1. What kind of financing can you provide me? If you’re buying the car from a dealer, they can most likely give you financing options. If you’re buying it from an individual, you’ll have to see a bank about a loan.

2. What's the warranty coverage? New cars will usually have some kind of warranty coverage so make sure and find out what you get.

3. Will you give me a trade-in on my car? If you’re buying a new car from a dealer, they may have good incentives for trading in your current car depending on its condition and value.

4. How valuable will this car be in a few years? If you’re buying with a resale in mind, auto consultants suggest that this is a great question to ask. If you think it will lose a lot of value quickly, it might be a good idea to pass.

5. Are there any aftermarket parts on the car? Some dealerships will sell new cars with add-ons, such as alarm systems, tinted windows and mud flaps which can significantly boost a new vehicle’s price.

Keep in mind, that when it comes to add-ons, they aren’t always mentioned up front. It’s often when signing the contract you see you’re actually paying more for something that doesn’t come standard.

Keep the emotional factor at a distance when buying a car
Image for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Pixabay

Planning to buy a used car? 7 questions to ask

1. How has the car been maintained? Did the previous owner take care of it? Did they get regular check-ups and maintenance?

2. Has it been in any accidents? You may be able to get a copy of the accident report from the seller, or in some cases you can find it online.

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3. Why are you selling the car? Find out if they are selling it for a personal reason or if it’s because something is wrong with the car.

4. Do you know the ownership history of the car, if so what is it? It can be helpful to know how many owners the car has had, who owned it and for how long.

5. Why are you selling it at this price? This will help you decide if the seller just picked a random price or actually did their homework to see what the car was worth.

6. Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection? This is a smart move for used cars, just to make sure that everything is in working order and that the seller isn’t hiding a problem.

7. Do you have the title in hand? If there’s a loan on the car from the bank, the seller might not have the title, or they may not know where it is. But these problems can be worked around.

‘Greater the distance driven, more likely that there will be problems in the car’s future’, is a common adage among car dealers. But what does this imply for a used car buyer?

If you are planning on buying a car that’s been driven a lot, ensure it is working properly. If something doesn’t work, find out if it can be fixed and roughly how much it would cost. This is a buyer’s takeaway.

Not sure on what car to buy? Demo car brings you discounts

If you are not sure whether to buy a used or a new car, and were hoping to just get a good deal with latest car features and rake in big savings, a demo car might just be right up your alley.

Demo cars offer a nearly new car experience, with a more palatable price tag. But before you go and ‘bag a bargain’ there are important things to consider.

What is a demo car?
A demo car is basically a car that has been used be a dealer so it’s technically not brand new. These cars tend to be top of the range, latest models equipped with all the bells and whistles. Because demo cars can’t be classified as ‘brand new’, they’re generally sold at a discount.

Before you consider making a purchase, it’s good to know what kind of demo car you’re dealing with. The types of demo cars you might come across include:

• Dealer demos: Cars used by dealers for test drives or promotions
• Runout models: Cars dealers want to sell quickly to make room for the next model
• Courtesy demo cars: Cars that get loaned to customers who bring their car in for servicing
• Factory demos: Cars used by the manufacturer at exhibitions and events or in commercials.
Not sure on what car to buy? Demo car brings you discounts.

What are the key perks and risks of buying a demo car?

• Buying a demo car can save you a fair amount of money. Dealers looking to move demo model cars quickly often slash their prices to clear the stock. So there is often more leeway for price negotiation.

• Demo cars are ‘nearly new’ and generally in good condition because they’ve been well looked after by the car dealer. As demo cars are used to show off the latest car models, they come with top-end features.

• There are no wait times for delivery. Rather than wait weeks on end for your new set of wheels, you can often drive your demo car home same day.

Downsides? Demo cars are not new vehicles, so they come with potential wear and tear compared to a brand new car. With demo cars, your choice is limited by what demo cars the dealer has for sale at the time.

• Demo cars have usually been driven by plenty of people before you, so they don’t have that newness that only comes with a brand new vehicle. If that bothers you, perhaps a demo car isn’t right for you.

Planning to buy a demo car? 5 questions to ask

When buying a demo car, it’s important to remember you’re still buying a used vehicle. So, you’ll need to ask the right questions and be thorough with your research. The number of kilometres on the clock is always a big consideration for a used car.

While there are no hard and fast rules for demo cars, auto consultants suggest a rule of thumb, which is to look for a demo car that’s within 2-3 months of arriving at the dealership, and has no more than 5,000 kilometres on the odometer. Here are five questions to ask any dealer before you buy a demo car:

1. What is the car’s history? Know how long the car has been a demo car. A good dealer should be transparent about how many demos the car has been used for. Has the demo car also been used as a courtesy car? Did the manufacturer use the demo car for their promotional activities?

2. Has there been any damage to the demo car? Seek an official answer from your dealer, but make sure you thoroughly check the vehicle yourself. Don’t overlook switches, compartments, lights, paintwork, tyres and everything else you can think of before you buy, matter experts add.

3. When did the warranty start? Make sure the warranty starts the day you buy your demo car, not the day it arrived at the showroom. If the warranty started months ago, you’ll lose that warranty coverage, consultants reiterate.

4. Is the car registered? If so, find out when it was registered and who the registered owner was. The dealer should be able to provide paperwork for both warranty and registration.

5. How much can you get a brand new version of the same car for? Showing the dealer that you’ve done your research and shopped around might incentivise them to shave a few hundred dirhams off, experts add.

Avoid buyers’ remorse by asking the right questions.

Key takeaways: Avoid buyers’ remorse by asking the right questions

Buying a car that you ultimately don’t want or that wasn’t in the best condition to begin with is never something you want to happen.

Many buy a car, new and used, that they thought were a great deal or exactly what they wanted only to find out later on that they should have done a little more research before signing the purchase order.

By asking the right questions, and getting them answered, you can save yourself a lot of trouble. Having as many details about a car before you buy is a prudent way to save money when doing so.

Buying any car is a big deal, so make sure you take your time to thoroughly research car prices and do a thorough inspection.

Before you part with your hard-earned money, make sure you’re giving it to a reputable dealer who won’t take you for a ride.

If you’re ready to take the plunge with your new wheels, you might also find freely-available online car budget calculators useful. It’s a handy tool to help you calculate what costs you’ll need to budget for.

And, if the prospect of paying for your new car is a daunting one, car budget calculators can also help you create a savings plan that’s realistic for you.