If you want to own a new set of wheels this Diwali, this buying guide will have you sorted

A woman's handy guide to buying a car this Diwali

Driven by higher incomes and changing lifestyles, more and more women are taking to the wheel – literally. They make up about 15% of new car buyers today, and this number is only expected to increase with time. Purchasing a car has traditionally been considered a man’s domain, but with the right information, women tend to be a lot more decisive and practical with their decision-making.

Diwali is one of the most auspicious times to invest in an asset. If you are looking to buy a car for yourself or for your family, here’s how you can leverage the right information so you don’t have to depend on anyone else for advice on how to buy a car. 

Do your research

While budget is the primary factor to consider while purchasing a new car, you need to account for other variables such as size of the family, purpose of use, average daily driving distance, parking availability at your home and office, etc. This exercise will help you evaluate whether a hatchback, sedan, or MUV would suit your needs best. It can, in turn, help you shortlist certain brands and car models with regard to pricing, features, safety, after-sales service, etc.

Review the car dealership 

In India, most dealerships or authorised showrooms are exclusively devoted to specific brands, unless you are buying from a second-hand car dealership. If the showroom is listed online, you will find enough and more reviews from visitors and customers. Weed out the dealerships that have been known to misguide, mis-sell or not provide adequate service to customers. It will save you a lot of time and heartache.

Related: Why are women buying more cars today? 

Take a test drive or two

If you are going to be the primary user of the car, it is important that you feel comfortable driving it. Women are built differently from men. Shorter women, for example, may find it difficult to get a good 360-degree view in some cars, or be unable to pull the seat ahead enough to reach the pedals safely. It is a good idea to take multiple test drives – in traffic, on the highway, and with simulated parking – to confirm if a particular model is the right fit for you from a safety and comfort perspective.

Pick the right features 

Women usually prioritise safety, comfort and practicality over design and power when it comes buying a car. Features such as 360-degree camera, parking assist, height adjustable seats, steering tilt, navigation and infotainment system are some handy elements you should look at, especially if you are going to be driving for long hours in city traffic. Other features such as a good security alarm system, hassle-free service experience with pick-up and drop facility and 24x7 roadside assistance  offer a great advantage in the long run.

Negotiate the price of the vehicle 
Car sales have been at an all-time low this year, and Diwali is the last big opportunity for dealerships to move their inventory before the year ends and their stock becomes dated. The sales representative should, therefore, be reasonably flexible if they wish to sell the car. Another advantage you have is your buying power as a woman! Women are not only known to be safer drivers, they also tend to have better credit scores, making it much easier to secure a car loan, as well as get lower interest rates on the loan. 

Related: 7 Ways to save effortlessly for your first car

Maximise value-added benefits

To push sales, dealerships usually offer some value-added benefits. This could range from complimentary seat covers to alloy wheels to extended warrenties. Given the festive season, they may be able to throw in other sweeteners such as cash discounts, gold coins etc. However, instead of cosmetic freebies, insist on a getting a higher cash discount as this will bring down your loan commitment and reduce monthly payments on the EMI.

Get the right car insurance

Just as with the car, make it point to compare car insurance policies for the benefits they offer. Buying a car is a one-time activity, but security and safety is a life-long commitment. Therefore, you need the right insurance partner that can protect you and your vehicle from any financial exigencies. Get a comprehensive own damage and third-party insurance cover for complete protection and assured peace of mind. Check these 5 Things to consider when buying a car insurance for women. 

We wish you a safe and happy Diwali and hope you have an enjoyable car buying experience!