September is “back to college” month, so now is the time for university students to buy a suitable car they would enjoy driving every day.
How to choose your car? Well, here are some practical tips, keeping in mind both budget and efficiency.
In general, the price of new compact cars with basic features ranges between US$10,000 and US$20,000, including VAT and registration, and are economic when it comes to fuel expense. This is important if you are on a tight budget and there is a considerable distance between your home and university, especially when there is heavy traffic. A car consumes more fuel when stuck in traffic, so if you study in Lebanon, you must not miss out on this fact! The price of non-luxury midsize cars is around US$20,000 to US$30,000. These cars tend to have larger engines when compared to smaller cars, thus consuming more fuel.
All car models are offered with optional features that increase value and price – so this again depends on the budget you have. However, some features are important for safety and should be seriously considered. Discussing these features with your parents may be helpful, especially given the fact that they could be tempted to support your financing ;)
Here are some affordable safety features that are worth considering:
Daytime running lights
Anti-lock brakes (ABS)
Electronic Stability Control (EBS)
Other safety features, which are offered in cars that are priced US$40,000 and above, include:
Collision warning system
Bluetooth is good to have for playing music and making calls. There are some cars with basic monochromatic displays, and there are cars with additional options such as a screen with a more in-depth menu and functionality. Locally installed infotainment systems are an affordable upgrade, but will not offer the same grade of quality as the ones that are installed from the manufacturer.
As for financing, if you are unable to pay cash for your car, you must inquire about car loan offers from several banks to compare numbers and other factors. These include interest rates and insurance company reliability, as each bank tends to hold an agreement with a specific insurance company so you would be bound to that company once you choose your bank. Try to get insurance coverage with zero franchise if possible!