Buying a car is not as easy as buying clothes or any other essential commodities. There are a lot of things one has to look into before making this decision. I made quite a few mistakes while going in for my car (I am still awaiting its delivery). Of course, I won't get into the details of those mistakes - rather I would focus on creating few tips for prospective buyers.
Let us make this into a four step process.
Step 1: Elimination round
1) Be 100% sure that you want to go for a new car. Don't make hasty decisions just because your neighbor has bought a brand new car.
2) The next step would be to select 2-3 brands (For E. g. Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Honda, etc. )
3) You will then have to set aside a budget for your car.
4) Then from the selected brands strike out the models that do not fit your budget - this will enable you to make a faster choice.
Step 2: Select your model and dealer
1) You might face a situation wherein more than 5-6 cars would fit into your budget.
2) Go for test drives, get brochures and check the respective websites.
3) If a model has been recently launched - check the wait period involved. If a wait period is more than 2 months - DO NOT GO FOR IT. Just strike that model out of your list and mind. (Believe me, waiting for the car of your choice can be troublesome!)
4) Talk to people and get their views and make your decision - at this juncture you should go by your own instincts. (We all have to take risks!) I am saying this only because at this stage you would have a clear idea of what you want. If you are still confused then I suggest that you either drop the plan of going for a new car or go for any random car you wish to buy. (At this stage, 99% of the people would be able to make a decision)
5) Now that you have made your choice - start calling up the dealers.
6) If you are exchanging your old car then see to it that you get it showed to as many dealers as possible. The one who gives you the expected price - seal the deal with them.
7) Dealers sometime ask you to handover your old car immediately - do not make the mistake of giving your old car before getting the delivery of your new car. You can at the most exchange your old car a week prior to getting your new car.
8) Once you have selected your dealer - check if they have any on-going special promotions or discounts (Most of the dealers tell you about such promotions so you need not worry!)
9) Book your car with the dealer and pay the booking amount.
Step 3: Bank Loan
1) As far as possible go with your own bank - avoid getting loans from other banks. The only reason I am saying this is because your bank would give you a good rate of interest.
2) Talk to your loan account manager - if possible please go there to meet him personally or call him to meet you at your office or home. Please note that a face-to-face meeting is essential as it increases credibility.
3) Ask for a low interest rate since you have your account with the bank.
4) At the time of signing the loan agreement - they would ask for PDC's based on your EMI.
5) Please request for a copy of the loan agreement. A bank will give you the copy only if you have requested for it.
6) Introduce your dealer to the banker so that they can carry out the other necessary paperwork such as signing the registration papers, etc. Your bank will send the dealer a form.
7) If your dealer asks your loan account manager to keep the cheque on hold for whatever reason - please get involved and get your cheque cleared as soon as possible. Your loan EMI is applicable only for a certain period before it is disbursed to the dealer. Once disbursed, you don't have to worry about it. However, before disbursement there is a possibility of a change in the interest rate and thereby in your EMI (Never make this mistake!).
8) Once your cheque is cleared ask for a delivery letter from your dealer.
9) Await the delivery of your new car (Usually, the wait period ranges from 10-25 days).
Step 4: Car delivery
1) If you are exchanging your old car, then exchange it a week before taking the delivery of your new car.
2) Take the delivery of your car on the specified date.
3) As far as possible avoid taking accessories from the dealer - they would charge you higher than the normal prices. (By accessories I mean - car mats, sun screens, seat covers, etc. ) Accessories can be taken from automobile shops - they give it to you at a much lesser rate - the quality too is good.
4) Get your car and its accessories and drive safely!