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04 February 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Cameron Klassen

With the Bank of Namibia Monetary Policy Committee's decision to keep the Repo rate at a historic low of 3.75% and the introduction of the extended repayment terms, this is the ideal time to buy a vehicle.
However with any purchase, planning is essential. Below are some hints and tips when buying a vehicle:
• Customers need to make a decision based on their needs. Questions to ask include what the main purpose of the vehicle; is it for frequent off-roading, mostly city driving or could this be for a combination of both purposes? Considerations such as fuel consumption, vehicle safety and carbon emissions may also factor into your list of priorities.
• Once you have identified a few cars that might fit your needs and budget, test driving the car is often the next step. Customers often want to get a feel of the car; how it performs in a city setting and on the open road. Once customers are convinced of their decision, they can approach their bank for financing.
• Can your budget cater for a new or used vehicle? To consider a pre-owned vehicle might be an option. There are advantages and disadvantages to making this decision and customers must take the time to weigh their options carefully and ask questions from reputable dealerships, backed up by research. Factors to consider are mileage on the vehicle, its maintenance and service history, the expiry date of the existing service plan, number and nature of incidents that the car was involved in as well as how many previous owners any one particular vehicle has had. Often, depending on the needs of the prospective owner, pre-owned vehicles are a good consideration.
• Knowledge is power. The Internet is an excellent resource for researching the specifications of a vehicle. Customers often use this research to specify the makeup of their desired vehicle to get quotes from a dealership. At this point customers should consider the instalment and insurance price on article and maintenance cost of the vehicle before committing to making the offer to purchase.
• Finances when looking at purchasing a vehicle should be looked at realistically. Buying a vehicle is a long-term decision, and there is more than just the purchase price to take into account. There are vehicle annual licensing fees, maintenance, insurance, fuel, repairs, parking, and wear-and-tear items such as brakes and tyres expenses to consider that do not fall under service plans or your vehicle’s warranty. Use the Bank Windhoek Vehicle Finance Calculator, available on the Bank's website, to calculate and project the car’s monthly instalments. Once done, weigh it against you budget. Note that this is only an indication on instalment and not all costs are included.
• Keep money separate for expenses not covered by a service plan or parts guarantee.
• After completing the research, assessing affordability and having approved tailor made financing for their vehicle, the deal is nearly done. Customers are strongly advised to focus on carefully reading their contract to understand the terms and conditions of any financing agreement, service and warranty agreements and to ask questions. Once the customer is empowered and comfortable with all the information that is required, they can drive off in the vehicle of their dreams.
* Cameron Klassen is a Senior Sales Advisor at Bank Windhoek’s Vehicle and Asset Finance Branch.