10 things every car buyer must know

Buying a car needs not just investment but deep thought. The market is overflowing with choices and temptations. Buyers need to think, what kind of car and can I afford it?

Think, what do I need transportation for right now and what will I need two years from now? Do I want a car as a status symbol or as something that makes my life easier? Will the car be a commuter vehicle, or to transport children? Would a van with cargo space and high clearance be more suitable for a growing family? Should the car be a two-wheel or four-wheel drive? What kind of terrain will I be driving in most of the time? Go through auto magazines as well as consumer reports to get a clear picture of the world of cars.

1. Work on your finances and determine what you need to spend each month on transportation. A car should not cost more than 10% of your net pay per month. If it is more, then consider leasing a car instead of buying one.

2. Before you finalize anything, find out what the target price is. Four figure discounts are available with almost every make.

3. Never sign an arbitration clause or blank financial forms. Try and get finance from a separate source, a bank or financial institution.

4. Haggling will get you a good deal apart from shopping around for finance. The market is competitive be sure to check dealer fiancé, high street, internet lenders, as well as other options.

5. Try and ensure a large down payment thereby reducing the loan to be paid. Work out your finances and choice of car such that the term of loan is for the shortest period.

6. Find out what buying incentives are on offer. These vary from audio systems to cash back offers, and 0% financing. Ask what extras and add ons will cost in addition to the price of the car.

7. Be sure to evaluate your old car independently if you are considering a trade in. Pay attention to ‘cost to change’, the difference between what the new car costs and what the old one is worth.

8. Find out about warranties, taxes, and insurance. These can eat into your budget.

9. Vet the contract well. Read the fine print. Make sure that paying off the loan before time will not carry any penalty.

10. Check out at least 3-4 dealers to gauge what the best offer is.

Test drive the vehicle before you finalize the deal and go through the car booklet page by page to understand all that the manufacturer needs to tell you. Be clear what is under warranty and what is not.

Never choose vehicle based on a picture or dream. It is not how you look in the car that’s important but how well the car will fulfill your needs. Be practical and sensible; do not buy a model because the dealership is offering a holiday for two or a low interest scheme. Identify a vehicle that suits your needs before subjecting yourself to an onslaught of marketing.

After market parts explained

For a passive buyer, these things are but ordinary terms used in the automotive market but for someone meticulous and who wants the best for his auto, these things matter considerably. Deciding which among these to purchase is just like deciding what car to buy.

O.E.M. stands for Original Equipment Manufactured. This means that OEM Ford parts are manufactured by Ford itself, Chevrolet parts are manufactured by Chevrolet, Toyota parts by Toyota, BMW parts by BMW and so on. The terms O.E.S. and OE are also used; these mean Original Equipment Supplied and Original Equipment, respectively. While in many cases, OEM and OES mean the same, OE is more general referring to any part that came as original equipment on the car. Some of OE car parts and components are not actually made by the car manufacturer but are purchased and assembled by the automakers to create a vehicle.

Those referred to as “aftermarket auto parts” are not made by the original car manufacturer; furthermore, they are bought and added to the vehicle only at the dealership or after the vehicle left the dealership. In terms of design and function, aftermarket products are almost the same as the stock auto parts since they are primarily used to replace a damaged original part so that the vehicle can continue to run. If you need replacement parts for your car, however, you can either buy O.E.M. or aftermarket auto parts. There are numerous sources of aftermarket auto parts. Stores like Auto Parts Discount give you a great variety of parts for almost all makes and models.

Some cars, especially the base models are not completely equipped so users just add aftermarket parts later on. For example if you have purchased an old Toyota Corolla, you can add aftermarket Toyota fog lights, Toyota spoiler, Toyota turn signal light or Toyota mirrors. Aftermarket products can also help you give your car a fresh new look. Even if your original parts are not yet damaged or worn out, you can replace them with or add specially designed aftermarket auto parts like Honda taillights, Ford center cap, Chevrolet chrome bumper, and Mercedes Benz Front Cover Towing Eye found at Auto Parts Discount.

Enthusiasts, on the other hand would opt for custom parts and specialty equipments. Compared to a universal fit auto part, which can be installed to any vehicle make, year and model, custom aftermarket products are designed to fit only a particular application. Examples of custom parts are your Ford hood, Ford fender and Ford doors. Specialty equipments on the other hand, are intended to make the vehicle more stylish, comfortable, convenient and more up-to-date.

Most auto users prefer aftermarket products because they are less expensive than OEM replacements. While it is true that there may be some aftermarket auto parts that do not meet high standards of original equipments, it is not right to say that aftermarket products are generally inferior in terms of quality and style. Replacement parts sold at Auto Parts Discount, for example are made by car parts manufacturers that are mandated by high international standards.

Which is better, OEM or aftermarket replacement part? It depends on the product. Some OEM parts are not durable enough while the aftermarket parts you use to replace them could last for many years. If you want to give your car a different look and also, if you want to save, aftermarket products are worth a try. However, make sure to get these replacement parts from trusted sources.