The automobile industry is one of the most lucrative industries today. An increase in disposable income among various households due to the slow but steady growth of the economy and incentives provided by auto dealers and manufacturers have led to increased passenger car sales. Almost every family has acquired a vehicle especially in middle to high income earning economies. To that end, I thought it was about time that I went shopping and purchased my car. This report details the steps and preparations that I made as a first-time car buyer and outlines the different behavioural aspects that were involved in the purchasing process.
As a middle-income earner, I first had to establish a realistic budget that corresponds to the monthly salary I earn. The inflation rate of the economy is also high. Therefore, I had to consider the living costs including food, shelter (I live in an apartment), health, and insurance. After making various calculations, I decide that the remainder of my budget would be spent on payment of the car, fuel, insurance and maintenance. I also sought advice from my bank about financing my car budget, and they replied by asking me to make sure my financial borrowing should not be out of proportion or out of balance and the car should balance with my other assets.
I had to decide the kind of vehicle I needed and for what purpose. I made a list of the cars that were compatible with my budget and highlighted the most favourable to buy. Since my transport needs mainly involved commuting to work and back, expensive, luxurious and large sedans were unnecessary. I also needed a durable vehicle that would serve me for some few years before I decided to change it.
The next step was to conduct research on various automobiles from dealership websites, YouTube, TV Shows, friends and family, newspapers, magazines, journals and also visited different car dealers that advised me accordingly. My favourite websites were edmund.com and autoexpress.com since they provided great reviews and information about the cars, their features, powertrain and performance, warranty period, safety, body and design, and driving impressions. Additionally, car magazines such as Top Gear and CAR also had a great deal of information about various sedans and their features, including pros and cons about them. My best friend advised me from his experience when he bought his first car. He was nervous and kept wondering whether or not he had made the right decision afterwards.
I settled for the 2016 Toyota Corolla Sedan as my first car. The car is not intended to thrill as much, but it significantly blends to the fuel economy and versatility, and its features and value are commendable. Some of these characteristics include ample leg room, user friendliness, a generous outlay of standard and necessary equipment, and an impressive fuel budget of 31 mpg (‘Edmunds’). Afterwards, I looked for various dealers in town and selected the one from which my best friend had bought his car. They had professional agents, provided excellent warranties, made a follow up on their customers and their prices were good. I had chosen my budget as below $20,000 and the car cost around $17,000 at the dealership. My best friend had decided to fund about $5,000 of the price in support of my endeavour. I later scheduled a test drive and chose a later day. Getting the feel of the car and how it made me feel behind the wheel was important.
Various variables like the seats, wheels adjustments, throttle, outward appearance, steering, and control layout could only be established by spending a reasonable amount of time with the car. When the day arrived, my best friend and I made it to the dealer’s main shop and took the test drive with him seated in the back. The car was quite impressionable, and I liked it by the time we left. I negotiated with the agent who was going to sell the car to us, and he gave us a good bargain of $15,000 of which I was allowed to pay $7,000 as down payment and the rest as $1,000 for seven months. It was a good deal and we later on finalized after transferring the money to the dealer’s primary account.
2016 Toyota Corolla Sedan Pricing & Features | Edmunds. (n.d.). Retrieved February 03, 2016, from http://www.edmunds.com/toyota/corolla/2016/