7 Steps Every Car Buyer Should Take Before Buying A New Ride
Craving for that new car smell and the rattle-free hum of a new engine? Buying a brand spanking new car is more than just that.
Don’t be tempted to buy a new ride on impulse. A car is a long-term commitment, it is the second largest (and longest) financial investment we make next to real estate.
Buying a car is also more than just paying your monthly instalment. There are various other hidden costs involved, such as annual road tax, insurance premium and maintenance costs. You can estimate these costs based on the car you choose to purchase.
It’s important to choose the right vehicle to meet your needs, your budget and something you feel proud to drive on the road.
The good news is that we are here to help, with the 7 important steps that every car buyer should consider before purchasing a car.
Step 1: Check the vehicle’s reliability
If you’ve been stranded in the middle of the road during peak hours’ traffic jam, then this point might come up to the top of the list for you too. Close to half of the respondents (49%) in the 2016 Initial Quality Study by J.D. Power prioritise reliability when it comes to car buying.
How do you determine what is or isn’t a reliable car? There are various ways you can gauge a vehicle’s reliability – from the vehicle platform, the extensive tests carried out by the manufacturer and also the warranty package offered.
According to the UK Reliability Index, which takes into account all factors of a repair, the cost of the parts and the frequency of failures, Renault is ranked in the top 10 most reliable in the UK.
Using the B-platform, the Renault Captur rides on its known flexibility and durability. Due to the comfort, spaciousness, handling and reliability it offers, there are currently over 20 vehicles by the Renault-Nissan Alliance using this platform.
Renault engines have also received international accolades in the motorsport arena, namely the Formula One World Constructors’ Championship (WCC) four years in a row (2010 – 2013).
With the added confidence in their vehicles’ reliability, the Renault Captur offers five year manufacturer’s warranty for unlimited mileage.
Step 2: Look for smart and practical design
How many buyers actually bought their car just because it looks sexy/cool/fierce (insert adjective of your choice here)? Although, it shouldn’t be, emotions always have a say in car buying.
According to the same survey, styling is the second biggest reasons people buy the vehicle they drive. We tend to want our vehicles to be an extension of our personality, or at least the perceived personality.
While we would say the Renault Captur is eye-catching, design can be pretty subjective. However, to the professionals, there are a number of criteria they look into to determine how good a car design is.
One way we can gauge how good a design is based on the awards the design or manufacturer has received. Renault Captur is known for its practical and stylish design through various award recognitions.
Laurens van den Acker, Renault’s Senior Vice-President of corporate design, was awarded Designer of the Year at an awards ceremony held at Silverstone by Autocar. The award recognises van den Acker, for transforming Renault’s entire model range, which includes the Renault Captur, from the time he joined the French vehicle manufacturer in 2009.
Renault Captur’s design did not go unnoticed. It bagged the local Best Design category at The Star’s CarSifu Editor’s Choice Awards 2016.
The Captur is designed with smart features that offer practicality such as:
Step 3: Compare manufacturer’s reputation, reviews and after-sales offerings
Surprisingly, many car buyers ranked personal experience, and the manufacturer’s reputation as well as car reviews after exterior styling in their car buying consideration.
However, this shows that research still take up a huge part of the car buying decision. This includes reading or watching reviews of vehicles by both professional and owner.
The Renault Captur has garnered its share of positive reviews – both professional and personal review. In fact, it was awarded the title of Most Highly Rated Car 2016 at the Honest John Awards in London due to its positive reviews.
To ensure that the vehicle you are eyeing does not come with problems, consumer product reviews will be useful. If one review out of a few reviews complains about one feature, it’s probably safe to assume that the problem is not a common issue. However, if 10 reviews out of 15 reviews complain about the same issue, then it is probably a common issue that come with the make and model.
It makes sense to do your due diligence of both professional reviews and recognitions and also personal reviews to get a sense of the vehicle before you make your decision. It is also prudent to test drive as many competing vehicles as you can to get a feel of the vehicle, which brings us to the next point.
Renault in Malaysia is under the Tan Chong Group, and customers are able to benefit from the wide-network of aftersales centres. There are 14 authorised Renault service centres nationwide currently, and an additional five services centres are slated to open by early 2018.
For additional peace-of-mind, Renault owners are provided with complimentary 24-hour roadside assistance. Owners can contact Renault’s 24-hour call centre at 1800-88-8663 in the unfortunate event of emergencies or roadside assistance.
Renault also offers a complimentary pick-up service for every scheduled service if you do not have time to bring your vehicle into the Renault service centre. And in the unfortunate event a Renault owner is without transport for more than 48 hours due to parts unavailability, Renault provides mobility services which offer an alternative vehicle so customers are not inconvenienced (subject to vehicle availability).
Step 4: Test the ride and handling
With 39% of the respondents on the J.D. Powers survey prioritising this factor, ride and handling of a vehicle is one of the primary considerations before one’s buying decision.
Handling describes how a car responds when it turns. A car with better handling can go around corners or turns at higher speeds and is less likely to lose control in a sudden panic swerve. This is largely dependent on the car’s suspension, as well as the steering, tires and the vehicle’s weight.
Why is it important? A car with good handling will be able to respond well in an emergency, such as when you need to swerve to avoid an accident.
The Renault Captur comes with a turbocharged engine with a 6-speed efficient dual clutch transmission, giving it the power you need to zip in and out of traffic. To ensure the vehicle handles well as well, the Captur comes with a slightly higher centre of gravity compared to a hatchback for a more balanced ride and minimal body roll.
Step 5: Compare price or payment and match it to your affordability
Price is an important aspect of any buying decision. The question is not whether a car is expensive or cheap, but whether it is affordable for each individual.
Before you consider which vehicle to purchase, you should take a moment to consider your budget. Take a look at your monthly commitment, and consider how much you can afford to pay for your car every month. This does not just include the monthly instalment but also cost of petrol, toll and parking, which are parts and parcels of car ownership.
If you are purchasing your car with a hire purchase loan, consider your loan eligibility. All your debt commitments, including what you would potentially pay for your car instalment, should not exceed 60% of your nett monthly income.
Considering the loan tenure and interest rate, here’s how much a RM109,000 vehicle with 90% loan will cost every month:
For lower monthly commitment, opt for a longer loan tenure. However, this also means higher interest charges at the end of the loan tenure.
Timing your purchase also makes sense, as there are many promotions available. Renault Captur is currently offering a rebate of RM5,000, making the Captur RM104,000 from its regular retail price of RM109,000. This means bigger savings:
|Monthly instalment |
(2.84% p.a, 7 years)
Based on the example above, the total savings you enjoy from interest is almost RM1,000.
Of course, car ownership is not just about the monthly instalment. It’s also about the cost of ownership, which includes a critical factor of vehicle ownership – the service and parts support. Here’s an overview of the cost of ownership of a Renault Captur:
Step 6: Safety
Unlike the ride and handling of a vehicle that will increase your chances of avoiding an accident, safety features are about how the vehicle can protect you and other passengers in the event an accident happens.
One of the easiest ways to gauge the safety of a vehicle is through its Euro NCAP safety rating. It is the independent body that conduct rigorous tests crash safety of new cars. All cars will get a rating based on the standard amount of safety tech fitted to every trim level available.
The Renault Captur is the 15th model by Renault to have achieved a 5-star rating by Euro NCAP. To guarantee an even more effective occupant protection, Renault Captur’s electronic architecture was designed to ensure that the latest-generation protective systems are triggered even sooner upon impact.
Here are some of the safety features available in the Renault Captur:
Step 7: Consider the fuel economy of the vehicle
Petrol cost can take up a huge chunk of a car owner’s monthly expenses. This is further exacerbated by the unpredictable weekly petrol prices.
Malaysians are no strangers to the effect of fuel price hikes. This makes fuel economy an important part of your car buying decision.
This is why you should have a rough idea of your monthly petrol expenses based on your average mileage.
If you clock in about 1,000km on average every month, and the average fuel price for RON95 is RM1.97 per litre, here’s how much your petrol will cost with a Renault Captur, versus a Honda HR-V:
With a full tank on Captur, you can clock in an estimated 833km, which is more than the distance between Penang and Johor Bahru at 691km.
To further enhance its efficiency, Captur also comes with ECO MODE which gives its driver an additional 10% fuel savings.
Although the official publish fuel economy of a car serves as a guide, the real world fuel economy of a vehicle largely depends on:
- your driving style – how do you accelerate and brake?
- the car’s condition – are the tyres inflated and is the engine tuned?
- traffic conditions – do you spend lots of time in traffic or do you get smooth runs?
Buying a car doesn’t have to be complicated. Ultimately, all you need to do is be absolutely honest with yourself when determining your needs and your financial situation.
This can be done easily when you empower yourself with enough information to make a sound financial decision. This way you’ll take the fear of the unknown and can even turn it into a fun adventure.
Remember, buying a car is not just about looking at the price tag but also about the long-term value you will be getting. Take these seven steps in your car buying process to get the best value for your money!
Experience the Renault CAPTUR for yourself to discover Europe’s Best Selling Crossover. Renault is now offering some great deals of RM5,000 rebates PLUS the 5inCAPTUR after sales service package which offers 5 years FREE service.
5inCaptur After Sales Service:
- 5 years /100,000km service (inclusive of parts & labour)
- 5 years warranty (unlimited mileage)
- 24 hours roadside assistance
- Pick up service for scheduled maintenance
- Mobility service
Book a test drive today!