Cars mean different things to different people. For some, it’s simply a means of transport, to get you from point A to point B. I’m lucky enough to work for a company that allows me to sell people their dream cars. Audi has emerged as a progressive luxury brand and thus have been the cars that many people aspire to drive.
However, buying an Audi, or any car for that matter, takes some planning. The majority of car owners finance their cars and pay them off over a couple of years, with the maximum term being six years. Most people do not want to keep their cars for that long, and the majority of the clients that I have come across want to trade their cars in around the three year mark.
While the ideal scenario would be to trade your car in at a stage where the trade-in value is more than the settlement amount, the very least you should aim for is to have your car settled. Audi and many other manufacturers now offer trade assist whereby they offer to help customers settle their shortfall with amounts varying between R5,000 and R35,000.
There are a few reasons why people would want to trade their cars in. The most common probably being that the car’s mileage is getting high and the car’s maintenance plan expires at 100,000km after which the car can become expensive to maintain. Another reason is that the car a person is currently driving has a high monthly installment and they cannot afford it as easily as they could when they first bought the car.
Here is where you should be careful when buying a car, whether it’s your first one, or your fourth one. Buy what you can comfortably afford, with a deposit, without a residual, and over a period of five years or less.
That way, if your situation changes, you can still afford your car, much easier than if you were stretching yourself to make payments every month. Secondly, with a deposit, and without a residual, chances are you will be able to trade your car in under ideal conditions much sooner than if you opted for a deposit.
So what if you can’t afford the car of your dreams without a residual? It gives you something to work towards. Would you rather drive a fancy car and scrape through every month or would you drive a decent car and easily make it through the month? It’s a no-brainer.