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The time has come when you are finally able to afford a vehicle. With a new job, having your own set of wheels can be beneficial. It’s easier for you to travel to and from work regardless of your work schedule. But, as exciting as this time can be, it can also be overwhelming because you may not know which is the best car for new graduates. 

When you are about to purchase a vehicle, there are many things you need to consider. This is to ensure that the vehicle you choose is the right one for you and can accommodate your current needs. At this moment, you may not be able to afford your dream car as you’re still on an entry-level salary, and you may have responsibilities such as paying off student loans. 

But, that does not mean you can’t purchase a vehicle that is efficient and makes your life easier. This article gives you a list of things you need to consider when purchasing your first car as a new graduate. 

Impressive resale value 

When purchasing a car, many people don’t think of the resale value, which is very important when deciding what type of vehicle you want. The resale value is the value of the car over time. Cars depreciate the minute they leave the showroom, which means that is money you have lost. Even if you decide to sell your vehicle after a few years, you won’t get back all the money you spent. This is why many people have opted to purchase second-hand vehicles, allowing them the chance to save money in the long run. When choosing a vehicle, make sure you look for one that has a good resale value. 

Good fuel economy

Fuel-efficiency is one of the most important things you need to consider when looking to buy a car. As a recent graduate, you want to find a vehicle that doesn’t break the bank. Cost of ownership is one thing people tend to forget about. They worry about the type of vehicle they want rather than the type they need or, more importantly, can afford. In most cases, fuel efficiency isn’t at the top of their list, but it should be. The cost of petrol is constantly increasing and adding additional car costs can put a dent in your salary. 

Your work location is also another factor you need to consider. If you work far from home, getting a vehicle with a good fuel economy means you will save money. 

Current and future needs 

It isn’t hard finding the car for your needs in South Africa when you always keep your needs in mind. What makes it harder is putting your needs aside to focus on what you want at the time. As a recent graduate, your needs and wants will change as your circumstances do. For example, you may want a sleek sports car now, but in the future, you might need a vehicle with more space should you wish to start a family. When choosing a vehicle now, you must choose a vehicle that suits your needs now and later. This will prevent you from having to sell your vehicle and purchase a new one in the future. When assessing your needs, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What type of driving do I do, e.g. rough terrain, off-road or around the city? 
  • Do you need an all-wheel drive? 
  • How much space do I need, e.g. do I work with a lot of tools and equipment or is a compact car fine? 
  • Which must-have features will make my life easier? 

Asking yourself these questions will help you determine your needs versus your wants. 

A reputable dealer 

Reliability is always a valuable thing when it comes to a car. As efficient as cars can be, they can also come with many issues, especially second-hand vehicles. You want to make sure you purchase a car from a reputable dealer with an up to date service history, warranty and easily accessible car parts. This will ensure that you know what type of car you’re getting and whether there are any issues you need to take note of. Buying a vehicle with easily accessible parts also ensures that you don’t pay a hefty amount for car parts if it needs repairs. 

Fitting your budget 

Lastly, your affordability will determine what type of car would benefit you in this stage of your life. Most South Africans who want to purchase a vehicle need vehicle finance. Due to the cost of living and low salaries, vehicle costs are too high for some people to save for. As a recent graduate, you can apply for graduate finance. This program is specifically designed for recent graduates who have not had the opportunity to build a credit history. Graduate financing doesn’t look at your credit history but instead checks your affordability. However, even with an affordable way to finance a car as a graduate in South Africa, you still need to consider your budget. A rule of thumb is to ensure that your vehicle repayment does not exceed 15 percent of your budget. This will help ensure that you can still afford additional expenses. 

In conclusion

With so many vehicles available currently from private sellers and reputable car dealerships, you are guaranteed to find one suitable for you. You can decide for yourself if you prefer a new or second-hand car, but both have their advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the field of work you’re in, there are many benefits that having your own car can bring you and with graduate finance, you can own a car regardless of your credit history. We hope that these tips will help you understand what type of car would currently benefit you the most.