Everyone knows how expensive it is to buy a car in South Africa. Thinking about the interest rate and the loan amount you would need to pay is enough to make anyone cringe. But as expensive as it is, many South Africans need it. Owning your own car has many benefits and can make your life easier, especially if you’re working or studying away from home. If you’re still struggling and keep asking yourself “can I afford this car?” Here are a few tips which can help you choose a vehicle that's in your price range.  

Create a detailed budget

When you plan on purchasing a car, you need to create a budget. Your budget is the first key factor in determining whether you can even afford a vehicle. You need to see how much money you have left once your monthly expenses have been deducted from your monthly income. A good tip is to start paying off some of you small debts before. By doing this you can have money to use on purchasing a car. You can cut down on takeaways and eat homecooked meals and cut back on subscriptions and clothing accounts that you no longer use.   Cutting back on a few things could help you get the vehicle you want. Once that has been calculated then you can look at what options you have for financing a car. There are ways in which you can check car affordability in South Africa. Many authorised financial services have affordability calculators which allow you to check your affordability and how much your total monthly repayments would be. This will give you an idea of how much you can pay every month and can assist you in planning your budget.

Shop around for different prices

When purchasing a vehicle you should always shop around and visit different dealers. This will help you get an idea of how much the vehicle is going for. By shopping around you can also get the best deal. You should look online and see which places offer the vehicle you would like and what their prices are. You never know...you could find your dream car or an even better one at a cheaper price. Make sure you purchase a vehicle that is suited for you. If you love going on long distance trips, it would be best to find a vehicle that is suitable to travel on a gravel road. If you only plan on driving around to work and back around town then you should find a vehicle which is ideal for that. Don’t however purchase a big car for no good reason as they can be more expensive.  

Think about the added costs

In order for you to have an idea of whether you can afford a specific vehicle, you need to think of the additional cost. When you purchase a car you have more to pay than just monthly payments, you also have insurance, maintenance, fuel prices, and more. There are on-the-road charges, which you should try and pay instead of adding it to your vehicle financing. This is the cost that dealerships charge for getting the vehicle ready for you. You should also think of the cost of insurance, service plans, fuel and repairs. Bear in mind that if your car parts aren’t easily accessible, the car price could be quite high. This is why it is so important to consider all variables before you decide on a vehicle and whether to purchase brand new or second-hand.

Second-hand vs brand new

Once you have thought through all the add-ons when it comes to car payments you can decide between a brand new vehicle or second-hand. There are benefits of both second-hand or brand new. The benefits of a brand new vehicle are:
  • You have freedom of choice, you can choose the colour and type of car
  • The resale price could be higher depending on whether it’s a popular car
  • It has the latest features
  • Peace of mind as you won’t have to deal with days when it won’t start
Benefits of a second-hand vehicle:
  • They are a more affordable option
  • There is a large variety of used cars so you still have the freedom to choose the one you would like
  • You won’t need to pay for new car fees or depreciation

Final thoughts

If you’re thinking of purchasing a car without breaking your budget, a second-hand would be ideal. Yes, they do have their disadvantages and brand new vehicles have their advantages but you can save much more. We are all we aware that vehicles are expensive and take a long time to pay them off, which is why it is the most affordable option, especially if affordability is your main priority.