So you’re thinking about purchasing a car?

Maybe you need a family wagon to get the kids to school? Or you could be in the market for a safer, more efficient drive? Or perhaps you’re in a mid-life crisis and desperately need that red convertible?

Purchasing a car is something we all have to do from time to time, and it can sometimes be a complicated process. There are always a lot of things to consider, and some very important decisions to be made.

At we like to make things as simple as possible for you to get the vehicle finance you need, so we’ve put together a short guide to purchasing a car… and it makes no difference if you’re buying new or used.

1. First things first

There are so many things to consider when purchasing a new car, but the best place to start is thinking about the type of car you want to buy. If you’ve got a big family, you might need a 7-seater with sliding doors. If you live in a rural area you might need something with 4-wheel drive. If you live in the city, you’ll need something that’s economical to drive and easy to park.

This will help you rule out all those vehicles that you certainly don’t need to think about purchasing.

2. Your budget

A good next step is to think about how much you want to spend… sometimes it’s a good idea to come up with a range. You don’t want to be looking too cheap, because it could mean there’s something wrong with the car and you end up buying a lemon. Likewise, you don’t want to be purchasing something for twice as much as it’s worth. Also, make sure you consider your limit, the maximum you would like to spend, and make sure you stick to it.

It could be that you need to consider car and vehicle finance to help you afford the car you need. Purchasing a car via finance can be a great option for getting the car you need on your budget.

Car Finance is able to structure financing arrangements from small amounts of $3000 to however big your purchase may be. We have the ability to structure payments that best represent your personal or business needs including GST and seasonal payments.

To date we’ve financed a wide variety of marine, private and commercial vehicles, business equipment, and motorhomes.

3. Do your research

Now that you know roughly the type of car you need, and how much you’re willing to spend, it’s time to do some research. What makes and models fit your requirements? Do you have friends and family in a similar situation to you? What do they drive? Give them a call and ask them about their cars. They might even let you take them for a test drive!

Jump on TradeMe and have a look at the vehicles for sale there. TradeMe gives you a good indication of how much you can expect to pay for certain cars, and also gives you an idea of what’s popular on the marketplace.

It’s also a good idea to come up with a couple of different makes and models of car you’ll consider purchasing… unless of course you know exactly what you want.

4. Test drive

Now that you have a couple of makes and models in mind, head down to your dealership and take a few cars for a test drive. Pay attention to all the details. Do you like the interior? Are they easy to get in and out? Do you feel safe and comfortable driving them?

Hopefully the test drive will give you a better idea of the car you’re after, and let you cross a few off your list.

5. Don’t get emotional

During the purchasing process, don’t get too attached to a car. The danger here is you’ll end up paying above your budget or too much for the car. Be prepared to walk away if the price isn’t right or you’re not 100 percent sure. Remember, a car can be a reasonably big purchase, second only to buying a house, so it pays to be certain you’re buying something you’re happy with.