Heels & Horsepower Magazine


Demystifying vehicle finance lingo: Part 2

It’s all very well to find a car that you both like and can afford, but you also need to understand all the financial jargon that comes with making the purchase. 

There is no shame in admitting you don’t know about the warranty, total cost of ownership or service plan. While all these terms can be intimidating the first-time round, asking questions will ensure you become vehicle finance savvy. 

Here’s the second installment of our 2-part guide to understanding vehicle finance jargon which will help you make the right choices:

“There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to structuring a car finance deal. By being totally honest with yourself and knowing how much you can realistically afford on the vehicle repayment, you are on the best-informed path to owning a car. As a responsible lender, WesBank will only provide credit for an amount that you can afford to pay back.”

– Kutlwano Mogatusi, WesBank Motor’s Communication Specialist
  1. Total cost of ownership: As mentioned, there’s more to owning a car than paying the monthly instalment. You need to budget for the running costs too – fuel, insurance, licence, servicing, maintenance, tyres and brakes, tolls, maybe the odd speeding fine! It’s important to buy a car you can afford even if it’s not yet the car of your dreams.
  2. Insurance: There are plenty of tempting insurance offers to choose from, however, WesBank recommends comprehensive insurance cover for a first-time car owner. This will cover you in the unfortunate event of accident damage, theft or vehicle write-off, plus you are covered for third party damage, which is damage to another vehicle in the case of an accident. The high risk of driving an uninsured vehicle is just not worth it.
  3. Warranty: A new car usually comes with a manufacturer’s warranty that would cover a faulty fuel gauge for example, but not general wear and tear on the brakes. It lasts for a certain time period but the finance provider, such as WesBank, can extend the warranty period, and can also offer you a warranty when buying a used car.
  4. Service plan: Usually covering the cost of a standard service, a service plan pays for your car’s regular services at set intervals (period of time or kms driven) as stipulated by the manufacturer. Be sure to understand what repairs or parts are excluded from the plan to avoid a nasty bill following a service.
  5. Maintenance plan: Maintenance plans differ in what they offer but most include the cost of servicing plus general vehicle wear and tear repairs to keep your car running efficiently. Again, make sure you are 100% clear on exactly what the plan covers and what is excluded.

“Now that you understand the jargon and consider yourself to be vehicle finance savvy, all that’s left is to check the vehicle finance agreement, including the small print, and sign on the dotted line – but, only once you’re satisfied with all the terms and conditions. Then, you are ready to safely take to the open road in your very own car,” says Mogatusi.

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