As young people, when we first start earning, dreams of many firsts cloud our eyes. Among many, the goal that is the most attainable is buying a car. Stylish and fast cars are always sure to catch one’s attention, but when one buys their first car, there are other things they need to consider, which ends up making them a good one for the long term.
The first thing that needs to be taken into account is the maintenance and upkeep cost. What one needs to remember is that as a new car owner, most people are also new drivers. The car may have to endure a few humps and bumps through the driving experience. The flashier the car, the higher the cost of upkeep. Headlights and chassis may cost more to replace too, and repainting the car is also expensive. Going for a smaller but sturdier car, the spare parts of which do not cost much, is a better option. Taking the brand and make into consideration first is a critical step.
What many people do is explore the used-car market. Today, this has become viable, with almost all new cars selling at one-third the price. If one has just learnt how to drive, it is better to invest in a used car, which may be more suited to rough use in the initial stages of learning how to drive; the wear & tear will not hurt as much on a used car.
The resale value of the brand is also something that needs to be looked into. Often, an expensive car fetches meagre returns when they go into the market for resale. Since the proceeds from this will help a person fund their upgrade after a few years, choosing a brand that has a high resale value is pertinent. A good example is a Hyundai Santro. The car, which costs about Rs 4 lakh, can fetch its owner Rs 1 lakh and a little upwards at the time of sale. In comparison, a Rs 6-lakh Corsa will not sell for higher than Rs 50,000. Look at insurance options, too, as different brands often fetch different insurance amounts.
Fuel efficiency and cost is also a critical factor when one buys your first car. Earlier, for most first-time buyers, diesel cars were a good option to start with because they came at a lower price as diesel itself was cheaper. Now costs have shot up, and the difference between diesel and petrol price is around Rs 10 per litre. So, it is better to invest in a car that runs on petrol and gives a steady margin, especially for irregular drivers who do not drive more than 40km daily.