You've bought the car, now what? All you need to know about car insurance!

You have chosen your dream car now it’s time for finance and insurance decisions…

You’ve done your shopping around, you’ve taken a few cars for test drives, and you’ve made your decision: you have chosen your dream car! You’re picturing yourself cruising the freeways, smile on your face as you whizz along to magical destinations, picturesque landscapes, and perfect sunsets – all with your favourite person in the passenger seat next to you…

 And then… back to reality. Before you can have all that fun in your new car, it’s time to deal with the admin, which at this stage, is all about shopping around for finance and insurance – a daunting task if you’re not sure where to start and who to speak to.

When buying a new car, make sure you speak to the in-house finance and insurance specialist at the dealership – they are qualified experts, so there is no need to make an extra trip to your bank. The finance and insurance consultant can assist with various aspects of the vehicle purchase cycle. They will be able to advise you on purchasing a vehicle, as well as protecting and maintaining it.

The consultant will first complete a customised needs analysis with you and address questions such as whether you can afford a down payment or not, or whether you prefer a low monthly instalment with a balloon payment at the end, for example.

Based on the information you supply, the consultant will present finance and insurance solutions that meet your needs, and respond to your budget. To protect you, the consumer, this process is strictly aligned with legislative requirements outlined in the FAIS and FICA regulations.

Something else to consider as you enter the agreement is to plan what you want to do with the vehicle when the finance agreement ends. Are you planning on keeping it and possibly re-financing the balloon or do you want to trade it in for a new vehicle and hope to offset any outstanding amounts with the value of your trade-in? Regardless of what your personal preferences are, finance and insurance consultants are there to give you proper advice.

Protecting and maintaining your vehicle

Finance and insurance specialists are also able to advise on maintenance and service plan packages to help you look after your vehicle to maximise its lifespan and keep costs under control. Maintenance and warranty packages are not a nice to have – they are a vital part of owning a vehicle.

Ask for advice on insurance products that will protect your current assets, and make sure you understand what will happen in the event of theft, hi-jacking, fire, death, disability, retrenchment, hail storms, breakdowns, mechanical failure, or smash and grab incidents.

 Also make sure that your vehicle is properly insured to meet the demands that you’re going to be placing on it – for example, insurance companies view a vehicle that is used as a work tool (such as a delivery vehicle) differently to how they view a personal commuting vehicle.

What can you do to make this whole process easier? Besides being mentally prepared to discuss a range of detailed questions when you meet with your finance and insurance advisor, take your bar-coded identity document, proof of your income, proof of address that is less than three months old, bank statements from the last three months, and your valid South African driver’s licence. This will enable the Finance & Insurance Consultant to bring you one step closer to your dream car.