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Are you planning to get your first ride? Then read this


Automobile has been one of the greatest inventions by man; and has contributed positively to economic development. Both young and old would always have the desire to own one, and if possible, cruise around the globe with it. The cars, SUV’s, Trucks, and all sorts have survived all the odds, rejuvenating themselves with ultra-modern technological development. But as good as they may seem, or flashy they may look, or the respect you might earn by having anyone of the biggest MODELS, there is still some thoughts one need to put into consideration before purchasing one.

  Right now, you want to have a car of your own, because you feel it’s the right time or because you want to flow on the same level with your peers. These are the things you should consider before purchasing a car:


1: Check Your Environment: As for me writing this, I reside in Nigeria, a country where some of its road network can destroy an eight months old pregnancy (LOL). Depending on your country, state, or city of residence, you should put your environment first into consideration when about to purchase a car. What do I mean by that? What I’m saying is, that place you’re staying exactly, your community, how good is the road, is it a modernised estate or a rural area? Is it suitable for a sedan or an SUV? You won’t want to buy a car then realise you have a huge problem in driving into your house.

  You might have to think about it well, depending on your taste. If you happen to be a lover of sport sedans, and you’re living in an area with poor roads, I think you should switch to an SUV. Cars like Mercedes-Benz C300 4matic or the E-Class, Lexus ES350, Toyota Camry, Corolla or Avalon amongst others, would definitely not fit in a community that lack good roads. Although they might earn you respect, you might cause an embarrassment for yourself when you get stuck in those muddy waters.

  SUV’s like Toyota RAV4, Toyota Highlander, Honda Cr-V, would do the best job in that. Just brood about it a little, it shouldn’t take much of your time. But don’t all in the name of you wanting a small ride, dive into it and then start blaming yourself. Take this as an example, if you buy a 2014 Mercedes Benz C300; with its low body structure, you’d always find the rear banging the ground hard or the front grille, dragging on the floor, which isn’t good for the vehicle. If this happens to any car you purchase, you’d find yourself dealing with so many issues all the time; from dents, bruises, dirt’s, and badged surface. So, it is better you think twice when making your choice.



2: Check Your Purse: You can’t say because you want to own a car, you should go bankrupt. No, don’t force yourself to do so, because it doesn’t end at the purchase of the car alone, maintenance inclusive. You should know your worth, as in the amount you’d be budgeting for any car. You might have 7 million NGN ($19,364) in your bank account as your net worth; I don’t think any sensible man would use 6.5 million NGN ($17,981) alone on a purchase of a car with that net worth. At least, 5 million NGN ($13,831) is enough; at least I said, it’s not a must you spend the stated amount, you can go down with that depending on your choice of car.

  No matter the amount you have in your purse, just seat, plan your budget, and be sure you don’t spend above what you’ve pencilled. Don’t say because you want to compete with your peers or you want to use what’s in vogue, you should buy today and then by tomorrow start seeking for loan. Give it a proper thought; sleep over it and wake up the next day to execute your plans.



3: Decide Your Choice of Car and Research the Market: After checking your purse to ascertain the amount you would spend, decide on your choice of car. Do you want a sedan or an SUV? You might something that’s cool, not too common e.g. Acura TLX or ILX, any Volkswagen or Peugeot model, Mazda, Nissan, and others. Or you can go for those in vogue like a Mercedes-Benz C300, Lexus ES, IS, or RX, Toyota Camry, Corolla, RAV4, Highlander, and Venza. Pick anyone that suites your taste then do a research.

 Get onto the web or social media; you can make investigations by yourself online before setting out to buy one. Go to foreign car sale site like Cars.comCarsforsale.comUsed cars.comCarexportamerica.comAuctiondirectusa.com, or to our own Nigerian car sale sites like Cheki.com.ngJiji.ngNairaland.comInspiredautos.com or social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram; find out about the price as it varies; let’s take a 2008 – 2012 Lexus ES as an example. Right now as am typing this, the price for it here in Nigeria is between 3 million NGN ($8,299) to 4.3 million NGN ($11,895). If you have 7 million NGN as your net worth and you decided to opt in for the fifth generation Lexus ES, you can still get a very neat one with a low mileage at 3.5 million NGN ($9,682). This would leave you with half of your net worth, which is enough to get other good things done.

  Though the prices may vary depending on the dealer, year of the car, engine, specs, and also neatness; just try to check the same car at different markets. Then you compare the prices, mileage and also the pictures you’ve seen.




4: Message or Approach the Dealer of Your Choice: While searching the market, I guess you must have seen any dealer of your choice or known one before, so make the approach confidently. Or in case you are not in the same location as the dealer, you can message and make an enquiry. Ask about the price of the car, the mileage, additional photos, and if possible a video. If you’re satisfied then you can proceed for physical inspection. Once you get there, take note of these points:


The Engine: You turned the key or you pressed the ignition, how well does it sound? Did it take up to a minute before coming alive? Hope it didn’t produce much fumes like that of a burning house? Yes, take note of those. The engine is what brings the car alive; a dead engine is a dead body. Once you’re doing some physical inspection, scrutinize it very well. Don’t just open it, give it a glance or two, and then close it back; no, it’s like you are acting ignorant. Check it very well; it is a machine, which your life depends on in some aspects.

  Look underneath for leakages; the engine oil, hope it is not dripping to the floor? The brake, clutch, and other necessities’, hope they are intact? What about its neatness? If it passes all of these, then you should proceed with other necessary inspections.


The Battery: At times, though depending on the year of the vehicle you purchased, the battery fitted in it might not be good. It might look neat to you (don’t judge a book by its cover), but it won’t be strong and would only last for a month or two before you realise its fake. Though an honest car dealer who is praying for progress in his business would be frank with you and tell you if a better battery would be needed. But in case, you should check it well for by yourself with whosoever followed you (that’s if you didn’t go by all alone), and check if it is in proper shape.


The Tires: These happen to be the bride of the vehicle, as the engine is the groom. Tires are one of the most important parts on a vehicle; it guarantees your movement and safety. Because you bought a 2015 Toyota Camry in the year 2018 doesn’t mean the tires would still be as late as the vehicle. Remember, they also have expiry date, don’t say because it’s clean, it’s the best. Some of these tires would have overworked than their normal life span, or would only have a few months and times ahead of it before it expires, but you seeing it clean would think it is still new.

  When a tires nears it expiry period, there would be at first excessive leakages. You might have pumped it 3 weeks ago but on your way out this morning, you realise it has leaked again, that’s a sign for you. It’d as well show breaking lines in it; like a crack in the wall, on its smooth surface in the front. Then, one day while driving, it’d burst.

  A tire bursting while driving is very dangerous, countless numbers of deaths has occurred through it. And this is due to lack of proper attention to one’s car. Most times, the expiry or manufactured period would have been shaved away from these tires, so you won’t know the When and When about it, but its neatness would make you think it’s a good one. Not all these tires are registered, some are fake, pirated or hijacked, so don’t fall for the fake inscription written on them.

 So, before purchasing a car, no quite well about the car you’re going for. Check the tires repeatedly and also the spare one (which is very important. At times, majority of the one attached to it are not factor made; I mean not from the car maker itself, but gotten from local market and added to it). So, be sure you know what you want, as the tires of your car hold your life on the road.



The Exterior: Yes, the body of the car, how neat is it irrespective of the year. Is it a fine car or an ugly looking beast? It’s not only a Rolls Royce that people turn to look at countless times; what matters is the car itself.

  The exterior of a car is the car itself. I don’t mean the shape or body style, I mean its neatness. Even if it’s Toks (Tokunbo as it is called here in Nigeria) and not brand new, it should still have a unique difference among those that have been used here. You don’t want to take home what looks rickety old that’d make people start wondering if you actually bought a car or a casket; you’d want to make them curse themselves for been so unfortunate.

  So, brighten your eyes to its highest beam and take a good walk round the car. Check if there’s no scrap or battered surface; and the paint, if it hasn’t started peeling off due to rust. Don’t say because it’s your dream car, you should buy it and then start wasting your money on repainting, which would as well peel off after a while. Check the lights as well; the headlights, fog lights, brake lights, reverse lights, left and right indicators, be sure they are functioning. If you’re pleased with it, then you are good to go.




The Interior: Now, this shouldn’t be a problem for you. I guess you already know how the interior of your supposed car would be like, and you should be pleased about it, if not, switch to another car; that is if you’re the type of person that wants the a car with good interior setting.

  But if you’re pleased with it from by the ones you saw online, and now you’re doing a physical inspection, take note of these in the car’s interior:


1: Mileage: Let me say this is more or less a car’s life span, the car’s expiry period. Based on research, cars longevity period should be over 200,000 miles and a little bit above, once it gets to that stage, it’d suddenly turn to funds consuming machine. It’s not the car’s fault though; it has reached its death period. Although, notable drivers like Irv Gordon (1940 – 2018), was said to have reached a total of 3.2 million miles with his 1966 Volvo P1800, during his lifetime.

  However, when you’re about to purchase a car; make sure the mileage is very low. You can locate that in the dash behind the steering wheel, you’ll see an example in the photo below. If you’re purchasing a used car, let the maximum mileage be 190,000. I’m not saying it should be, let that be the highest you will go for. You can still get a 2010 Lexus ES with a mileage of 70k; it only depends on how far and deep you’ve researched the market.

 To some, mileage is nothing. Yes, but at the same time you won’t want to buy a car with a weak engine or that which would pack up after a year. Though the mileage can be tampered with, don’t get deceived by it. Start your inspection from the engine before concluding by the mileage.


2: Indicators: On the interior, check the lights, the tire pressure warning system, the indicators (both left and right), the fuel level display, the speedometers, the LCD display.




3: Buttons: The small ones on the steering, the ones on the dash, underneath or beside the LCD display, how effective and responsive are they? Hope they do not seize? Check each one of them with patience and know if they still function for what they are meant for.



4: The Seats: Hope the leather or cloth stitching seats are still very neat? Or they have crack, dirt’s, grease, and torn on them? You won’t want people to admire the exterior, and then realise the interior is like a fishing boat. So, make sure the car’s seats are very neat, in proper look and shape without any damage on them.




5: The Gear: I understand you will do a test drive, if permitted or run over the engine a little. Check the gear, does it respond quick, that’s if you’re going for a manual. Does it responds to whatsoever it is you change it to? Once secured, then you’ve got a good car.



5: Make A Negotiation, Test Drive, and Payment: If you’re pleased about everything with the car, you can start the negotiation, that’s if it hasn’t been made or it was tagged non-negotiable. If you can test drive it, do so, if not, then run the engine and see its functionality. Then when all is set, safe, and secured, make the payment, and roll out in your newly purchased automobile.




CONCLUSION: Purchasing a car might be confusing at times, especially if it happens to be your first. First, you might want to use what’s in vogue, and then you’ll start wondering if you should import one by yourself into the country, but clearance would be a pro. At the same time, you wouldn’t want to get duped by some dubious dealers in the country who won’t call a spade, a spade. All I can say is, follow these steps, and you’ll find it quite interesting and fulfilling. All you need to do is to have an idea. If any help is needed, Og.Daily is ready to render services; however, I wish you all the best of luck in your car purchase.


KEYPOINTS

- Check Your Environment.

- Check Your Purse

- Decide Your Choice of Car and Research the Market

- Message or Approach the Dealer of Your Choice

- Make A Negotiation, Test Drive, and Payment.

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