A Chick's Guide To Buying A Car

Though I have been driving my parent's cars for a while, I bought my first car exactly one year ago. And for all of you who are contemplating buying one, this is a really good time as numerous major international brands are available in India, and there's something for every need and budget. I'm writing this post from a female perspective so besides the fact that it is much safer to have your own ride than to rely on cabs or other people, it's also really helps to have your own car because you can plonk your shoes, bags and clothes in it! 

If you don't know how to drive or have just learned, it is a good idea to buy or drive a used or old car sometime till you develop the confidence to drive in traffic and at peak hours. In case you don't want to or can't get yourself to learn driving, choose an automatic model. 

 A chick's guide to buying a new car -

1. Budget -
The first thing you need to consider is your budget and analyze which sort of car best meets your needs best.  If you're single or are a family of two, you obviously don't need to buy an SUV or MUV but you need to consider how long you plan to keep the car. Consider your savings and the loan you would like to take for the vehicle. You can make the down payment and after choosing your loan amount and monthly EMI, you can instruct your bank so that the EMI gets auto deducted from your salary/business account. 

2. Manufacturer Research -
Go through reviews of cars online from trusted sites and read owner's reviews on Team BHP to see their feedback. Also, ask family, friends and colleagues about their vehicle's performance if you are interested in purchasing the same model. Don't buy a car model that is about to be discontinued as you’ll regret it when you need to find spare parts and you won't get a good resale value either.

3. Petrol or Diesel -
Then there's the age old debate between petrol and diesel. Diesel cars have higher maintenance costs and have a price premium to pay. However, they are more apt if you drive long distances. Some diesels work out cheaper if you consider it from an EMI perspective.

4. Test Drive -
Above and beyond what the world says, this going to be your car and you will be driving it, so make sure you test drive all your choices before zeroing upon one. This is when you get the look and feel of your ride and can choose one of your liking. What is right for someone else may not be right for you so consider details like the comfort of the driving position, pickup and engine response. Take a friend, relative or partner along while test driving as they can offer their unbiased comments or opinions about the car

5. Features -
Safety options such as ABS (anti-lock braking system), airbags are a must and are well worth it because your safety comes first. But the last thing we women care about is alloys, rims and fancy tires, so consider each feature of each model and the cost of the same. 

6. Timing -
Car manufacturers often provide special deals and discounts during the festive season so that is a good time to buy one. Avoid buying a car in December as by waiting for less than a month, your car will be a year newer. Do research on what discounts are available and ask about manufacturer specials and impending price cuts.

7. Insurance -
Dealerships profit from fat commissions on every insurance policy sold. Instead of buying insurance coverage from the showroom, take quotes from a couple of insurance companies as can save anywhere between 20 to 40% on insurance by shopping yourself and bypassing the dealer. If you are buying a premium car, opt for zero depreciation car insurance as premium cars are equipped with premium-priced parts.  
8. Accessories:
Crosscheck accessory prices between the showroom and after-market dealers as authorized dealerships charge much more than accessory shops do. So getting seat covers or other accessories from outside saves you quite a bit of cash. 

So those were my tips on buying a car and I hope this guide is helpful for you if you're confused about how to go about car shopping!