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Usapang Auto 

First-time vehicle buyers


Normally, first-time vehicle buyers are quite curious as to what “make” of vehicle is the best to drive. Is it a North American car, what they call domestic or is it Japanese or Korean cars, which we call imports. And, of course, there is the higher end, European Imports. The next question is whether to go for a new or used vehicle.

There are several issues that normally confront first-time buyers. Being new in a different country with a different road environment, different rules and procedures, provides a different set of “givens”. However, more often than not, the first issue that comes into play is the budget. Money is tight for new immigrants. There are unpaid debts left at home, limited savings and a new credit history. The decision whether to buy a new or a used vehicle really depends on one’s situation. Both have pros and cons to consider. Choosing which one is the lesser evil, as they say.

New vehicles offer peace of mind in terms of repairs. However, what goes with it are higher insurance, warranty coverage and regular monthly payments. To have a better picture, it would be wise to incorporate these additional costs when you calculate the money you have to pay out.

Getting a used vehicle has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you have to get it from a used dealership, go to a reputable one. Doing a road test does not guarantee that the vehicle is in A-1 condition. There are a million ways to camouflage imperfections in a vehicle. If you have to acquire the vehicle privately, bring it to a reputable shop that will double check the condition of the car. Get a third party assessment. Spending some money to have it inspected before purchasing is well worth it. You don’t want to find out later that it is a lemon. You would have hoped you bought a new car instead.

Next question is whether to go for a domestic (a North American car) or an import (an Asian or European car). In recent years, we have witnessed how the Asian and European carmakers have surpassed the sales of North American cars. Import cars have established their position well in the automotive industry. They are known for fuel efficiency and environmentally friendly designs. On the other hand, North American cars have dominated the market for trucks and powerful engines. Import or domestic? It all depends on one’s needs. Which is more durable and reliable? Again, it all depends on how one religiously maintains the vehicle. If you take care of your vehicle, it is going to take care of you when you need it.


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