Oman motoring: What you need to know when buying a new vehicle
May 14, 2017 | 8:20 PM
by Courtesy of General Motors
There is a lot to consider when buying a new car, and decisions shouldn’t be rushed.

Looking for a new set of wheels can bring a roller coaster ride of emotions for everyone no matter how experienced they are. It is one of those ‘big life purchases’ that everyone wants to get just right, as there is no safety net of a “14 days return policy.”

With so much to consider, GMC recommends seven simple rules that will help with the motions of finding the car that fits just right, and make the car buying process as stress-free as possible.

1. Research: The perfect start to finding an ideal car is to research and remove any uncertainties. One of the first steps is to list out the desired elements of a dream new car in terms of space, features, performance, and technology. Looking at trusted car dealerships and desired models is also a good start. Note down the top five cars that meet all personal needs and wants, this will help keep focus when looking for a new car.

2. Set a Budget: With so many models of cars in the market, setting a budget on something that is actually affordable, will help narrow down the cars to take for a test drive. Set yourself a firm budget and stick to it, temptation will rear its ugly head drawing your eye to models outside your price range, be sure to resist the urge. If buying a new car needs financing, then make sure to be aware of the total cost involved and the monthly payments. Other points to consider when budgeting include monthly fuel costs, insurance and maintenance.

3. Arrange A Test Drive: Having done the research, choosing a dream car and arranging a test drive is the fun and exciting part. An important tip when arranging a test drive is to drive a model that is as close as possible to the listed during the research. As tempting as it might be, don’t drive a top-of-the-range model if buying an entry level model is the budget. During the test drive checking out what the car can really do on the road is a great decision maker, and be sure to drive on roads that you are familiar with on a daily basis. However, taking a test drive can be distracting, as there will be a lot of concentrating on the driving. Be discerning and spend some time in the passenger seat, playing with the radio, and even ask the sales person to take you round the block to experience the car from another perspective to check the road noise and ride quality. Anyone with children, should check whether the child seat is going to fit in the back. While driving experience is important, it is also just as important to know whether fitting all the family in the car and all their stuff or belongings is going to be possible.

4. Check Out All The Features: Be a leader in the decision making and make sure before taking the test drive, that there is a clear explanation of what features are standard and what is optional on the car that will be test driven. Modern cars have numerous features, so the test drive is the opportunity to assess all the features on the prospective car. While most cars have great built-in infotainment systems including touch screen technology panels and text message alerts, other features can be the deciding factor in your decision making like keyless entries, remote start, rear seat reminder, surround vision camera, adaptive cruise control, and many other features. Try these features out and raise any questions on how to use them with the sales person. If something that fulfils everyday needs is top of the priority list such as delivering great acceleration and power, handling and braking, easily drivable with plenty of space, then now is the time to measure up the seating and storage capacity. Or if having an out of this world sound system is on the top of the list then check it out. Drive using the cruise control and reverse park to check out the rear vision and make sure they are easy and intuitive to use.

5. Don’t Benchmark The New Car Against Your Current Car: That new car smell, look and performance can be very tempting. Stay disciplined when looking for a new car and when comparing it to your current car. The current car isn’t new, and has been round the block a few times. If possible, try and book your test drives back to back, or as near as possible so the experiences are fresh in mind.

6. Ask What Is Included and What Isn’t In Your Package: Now is the time to ask all the questions. If needed, note down all possible questions ahead of the test drive and stick to personal convictions when buying a new car, if there is a comprehensive and extensive warranty in mind and a transparent cost of maintenance, then mention it to the salesperson. While most may ponder and fret over the actual price of the vehicle, it’s important not to overlook the cost of ownership as many manufacturers take pride in their competitive cost of maintenance. For example, GMC offers value for money to its customers with a maintenance schedule starting at 10,000km and includes standard replacement of engine oil and oil filters. A number of other maintenance services that a buyer should look for include vehicle fluid top ups, inspections and system cleaning. It is essential that to be aware of when the car will need to be taken for maintenance and the warranty package available when it comes to the ownership of a new car.

7. Don’t Rush: Once all the cars on the shortlist have been tried out, going back and re-testing the cars that were in the top three is a good idea. There is a lot to consider when buying a new car, and decisions shouldn’t be rushed, as it is one that a buyer will have to live with for a number of years.

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