Buying Car Checklist

The new year is coming soon and you’re starting to fancy the idea of owning a new car with all latest gadgets from the automatic door, run-flat tyres, ABS (antilock braking system), 7-speed transmission or even a self-driven car! The new automotive world has a lot to offer comparing with the past 20 years and we know the shopping experience for a new car can be overwhelming for some. Here are some quick & easy tips to consider if you happen to be in the market for a new car!

1. Buy What You Need Not What You Want
Buying that sport series with fancy bodykit & exhaust sure will make you look cool after a promotion but if you also have 4 toddler kids back home who’s constantly needing to be fetched from tuition lah, rugby game lah or constantly needing to go through KL road pathway with so many “guli” hole you can imagine how miserable your life is going to be if you go with the wrong type of car! First, ask yourself on why do you need a car? It’s a simple question that commonly ignored by many of us probably from many of the influence that is surrounding us from peer and social pressure, mother in law, family or even the one last ride movies. Remember, this influence shouldn’t be your guideline instead focus strongly on the purpose of you having the car. If you need a car that fits your family needs from balik kampung trip, think about safety and maintenance. If you need a car for transportation ranging from people, buah sawit, tayar or machinery think about space.

Set a list of your needs to your wants from the priority to least priority.

2. Budget
Now that you have a list of your needs and wants, set your budget accordingly first to your monthly income. There’s no point aiming for a super-luxury SUV when you have to eat instant noodles daily just to meet the monthly payment or even worse, making you constantly delaying your payments which will put you in a nightmare position later on as you moving on with life. Secondly, set your budget based on your needs. The salesmen in the showroom often will showcase to you the top of the range model first with all the unnecessary accessories that will only added in the extra budget to your pocket. Stick to your budget and allocate it accordingly to your monthly income and needs. Think about the longer-term of owning the car from insurance, road tax and payments which are the needs before the wants on the unnecessary accessories.

3. Research
Learning on the car that you’ll be driving for at least the next 2 years is probably the best thing you can do to avoid yourself from some problem down the road that will cost you money or even safety. First, research on the price tag. Is the recommended price tag is the same or better from the dealership offer? On top, look at other factors such as the expected resale value of the car, warranty & maintenance package to avoid Burn My Wallet situation, fuel consumption, insurance and even road tax. You have to learn to see a car as a liability and not an investment. Problems are expected as the car ageing but the least you can do is to avoid as many risk as you can to make your money worth.

4. Inspect
If you have decided on a particular model, inspect the exterior & interior correctly from safety to beauty criteria. For the exterior, check on the signs of dents, uneven surface & scratches as this indicate if the car has been involved in an accident. Then move on to the front of the headlights and back to see if it’s working accordingly, you don’t want to be caught riding your new ride and makan saman later just because only one of your brake light is working. On top, check for the tyres and see if the tyres are new tyres or old tyres. If it’s an old tyres try to politely ask from the dealership for new tyres as it’s the only thing that keeping you, your car and the road.
For the interior, look out for on the stains, seat tears, floors, doors and ceiling and most importantly sniff the heck out of the car! You don’t want to buy a car that might potentially been involved in flood or worst of all smokers!
If you find anything that is to the concern of your safety & cost, don’t let it throw you off! Instead, use it as an opportunity to your advantage for negotiation.

5. Test Drive
You have sniffed it, negotiate for it what else you’re waiting for? Drive it like you stole it! But before you start with the test drive, notice on the first crank first. Then, check if there’s any stain left under the car as your drive as an indicator if there’s a leak under the car. As you test drive, try not to be bombarded by all the gadgets and sound system. Instead, focus on any sound coming from the car. Test drive the car in multiple road conditions from bumpy, smooth road, sharp cornering, slow and even fast (within speed limit). Let’s face it, the road in KL is not all sunshine and rainbow ye.

6. Check the Documents!
Check through the quotation issued by the dealership if the agreed price inclusive of the insurance, first-year road tax & insurance, B5 & B7 forms, thumbprint & loan submission which usually bared by the dealership. Remember, a car is a liability and not investment. Therefore, you are bound to minimize money spending as much as you can! Make the purchase work for you and not the other way around!

7. Send for a throughout check!
Now assuming you have gotten that brand new car of yours, the process of owning a new car doesn’t and shouldn’t end right after you drove it out of the showroom! Commonly, the new car of yours has been seating somewhere for quite some time before any buyer booked for it. Therefore, it’s a best practise for you to have a proper throughout check on your brand new car with your trusted external service centre. The check will have to include from the bodypaint, transmission, engine, wheels, braking system, cooling system, A/C system and many more that require immediate attention for you to benefit from the warranty coverage!

Lim Tayar is your car One-Stop Service Centre with ranges of car products and services and over 35 years of Malaysia automotive industry. Lim Tayar provides FREE 15-point check that covers all your basic car checklist in ensuring a safer journey for our customers through our 15 point check. We’re open 7 days a week, including public holiday! Looking for a reliable service centre? Look no further than Lim Tayar!

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