Rookie Mistakes

4 min read
You’ve finally saved enough to place a downpayment for your very first car. While it is an exciting experience, do keep your emotions in check and note these points.

You’ve finally saved enough to place a downpayment for your very first car. While it is an exciting experience, do keep your emotions in check and note these points.Know your finances
Whether it’s buying a used car or a new one, always make sure your finances are in order. Know your price limit before you go shopping. It is easy to be swayed by the sales talk and the glitzy presentation, but bringing it down to dollars and cents will go some way towards making sure you don’t spend more than you can afford. Look out for offers on ex-fleet, event or management cars. Although considered ‘used’ cars, some of these were only used for a few months or for an event, and are virtually new with a low mileage. If possible, time your purchase with a drop in COE prices.

Do your research
Always do your research on the makes and models you are eyeing. Know more about the cars and their specifications — such as tax bracket, features, fuel consumption, and boot space — before you step into a showroom. Knowing more about the cars you are keen on means you won’t be easily swayed by slick sales talk.

Bring along a friend who already drives as he or she may be of help and can provide useful insights into the car-buying process. Do not limit your options by striking a deal with the first dealer you meet. Take the time and effort to check and compare, as it is, after all, a huge financial undertaking.

Test drive
Always test drive a car before you commit, especially if it is a used car. The decision is yours to make, so do not be pressured by the salesperson to forgo the test drive — this should set alarm bells ringing!

Get a feel for the car, test the brakes, and see how the car responds. When a salesperson starts giving excuses for any issues, then maybe you should be looking elsewhere. Even when the test drive is positive for a used car, do arrange for a car evaluation before you make the purchase. Why not check out AA’s Car Evaluation Service? More information at the end of this article.Know your rights
Check on the dealer online; sometimes, car forums list dealers to avoid because of bad practices. Do your own checks to make sure you get proper facts and news. In Singapore, consumers are protected by the Lemon Law. if your new car is found with a manufacturing defect within six months of purchase, the dealer is liable to fix the problem at no extra cost, replace the car, or compensate the buyer as appropriate.

For used cars, the buyer has to prove that the defect already existed at the time of delivery. Do note that used cars are older, thus issues could occur sooner because of age, and these may not come under the dealer’s liability to you.

Function over form
Know what your motoring needs are, especially if you have family to consider.

Imagine getting a two-door coupe because it looks sexy and sleek — it may take corners like glue, but getting your year-old baby in the back seat will present challenges! At the other end of the age scale, if ferrying your elderly folk is a concern, look for cars that are easy for them to get in and out of. For example, a low step-in height with a tall roofline as well as wide-opening doors will make life easier for them.

We always advocate comfort and reliability over looks — unless you’re single with no commitments and a good bank balance!

AA’s Car Evaluation Service
Don’t be impressed just because the pre-owned car you have your eye on seems shiny and new. Get it professionally evaluated by our Car Evaluation Service, which will generate a comprehensive assessment report that includes:

– Body damage detection
– Suspension assessment
– Brake effectiveness evaluation

Promotion Price
AA Member: $98 (includes a goodie bag worth $70)
Non-member: $128 (FREE 1-year AA Ordinary Membership)